The Chinese military has claimed that its artificial intelligence piloted jets have become better than human pilots and routinely defeat them in dogfights.
According to state-run media, the Chinese aerial combat champion, Fang Guoyo, was shot down in a simulated dogfight by one of the AI pilots. This was not the first time he was defeated, and he is not the only one either.
However, this has only been the latest in a series of developments so far. China is in the middle of a military overhaul and has upgraded its troop equipment, fighter jets, tanks, and missile systems in recent years.
Fang Guoyu stated that “At first, it was not difficult to win against the AI. But by studying data, each engagement became a chance for it to improve.”
Fang and his instructors tried using a tactical battle-plan to beat one of the machines in the most recent training session but only managed a narrow victory.
However, in the next mission, the machine had learned the tactics and used them to defeat Fang, the military said.
China says its fighter pilots are battling AI aircraft in simulated dogfights, and humans aren't the only ones learning https://t.co/NA3ik1kjh2
— Military and Defense Insider (@MilDefInsider) June 15, 2021
This is very similar to early chess software, coded to learn with each game they played. While initially, it made some very questionable moves, nowadays, even Chess Grandmasters find them impossible to defeat.
Also under development by state defense corporation Norinco, the latest feared weapon in the Chinese arsenal is the Xian H-20 supersonic stealth bomber. That could potentially be AI piloted.
It is thought the bomber will be able to carry nuclear weapons and hypersonic cruise missiles, with a range that could allow it to strike US bases in Guam.
‘If the aircraft becomes operational, it has the potential to be a game-changer,’ Jon Grevatt, a military aviation expert and Asia-Pacific defense analyst, previously said.
Nevertheless, this is nothing new; humanity has long romanticized the idea of AI taking over the battlefield. The movie The Terminator is one classic example.
Likewise, the movie Stealth in 2005 was based on the very idea of an AI-powered fighter-bomber that goes rouge after being struck by lightning, which has also concerned human rights activists regarding these developments.
AI lacks something called the “Human Factor,” which means it does not have any empathy. Releasing a billion-dollar killing machine into the battlefield that lacks any emotions can certainly have certain drawbacks.