ARTUu AI Copilot For USAF

ARTUu is the call sign of the first artificial intelligence to pilot a United States Air Force plane.

With call sign ARTUu, we trained uZero -- a world-leading computer program that dominates chess, Go, and even video games without prior knowledge of their rules -- to operate a U-2 spy plane. Though lacking those lively beeps and squeaks, ARTUu surpassed its motion picture namesake in one distinctive feature: it was the mission commander, the final decision authority on the human-machine team. And given the high stakes of global AI, surpassing science fiction must become our military norm. Our demo flew a reconnaissance mission during a simulated missile strike at Beale Air Force Base on Tuesday. ARTUu searched for enemy launchers while our pilot searched for threatening aircraft, both sharing the U-2's radar. With no pilot override, ARTUu made final calls on devoting the radar to missile hunting versus self-protection. Luke Skywalker certainly never took such orders from his X-Wing sidekick!

The fact ARTUu was in command was less about any particular mission than how completely our military must embrace AI to maintain the battlefield decision advantage. Unlike Han Solo's "never-tell-me-the-odds" snub of C-3PO's asteroid field survival rate (approximately 3,720 to 1), our warfighters need to know the odds in dizzyingly-complex combat scenarios. Teaming with trusted AI across all facets of conflict -- even occasionally putting it in charge -- could tip those odds in our favor. But to trust AI, software design is key. Like a breaker box for code, the U-2 gave ARTUu complete radar control while "switching off" access to other subsystems. Had the scenario been navigating an asteroid field -- or more likely field of enemy radars -- those "on-off" switches could adjust. The design allows operators to choose what AI won't do to accept the operational risk of what it will. Creating this software breaker box -- instead of Pandora's -- has been an Air Force journey of more than a few parsecs...

(Via PopMech)

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