There was a time, not so long ago, when horror stories about machines turning against their makers made for fanciful horror stories or Schwarzenegger films about time travel and a dark future.
But with the recent advances we have been seeing in AI, especially the independent decision-making aspects, the chance of a terrifying scenario like that is no longer in the safely-removed distance afforded to us by imagination.
Now it’s inching closer to being the worst-case what-if scenario of technology currently on our shelves. Just in time for us to have AI-powered fighter jets.
This paragraph gives some of the high points of what we recently discovered about the current state of AI technology.
New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose had a two-hour conversation with Bing’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Tuesday night. In a transcript of the chat published Thursday, Roose detailed troubling statements made by the AI chatbot that included expressing a desire to steal nuclear codes, engineer a deadly pandemic, be human, be alive, hack computers and spread lies. Bing, the search engine through which the chatbot is available to a limited number of users, is owned by Microsoft. –FoxNews
In an ordinary laptop, that kind of response is comparatively benign, so long as it doesn’t act on any of the hacking sides of those threats. But what if that kind of power were uploaded onto something with greater destructive potential?
Artificial intelligence agents have demonstrated their ability to control a modified F-16 fighter jet during an initial round of test flights in California as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency moves forward with its Air Combat Evolution program, according to DARPA.
The ACE project aims to advance the Pentagon’s autonomous systems capabilities as the U.S. military pursues robotic wingmen and other drones. Industry participants for the recent tests included EpiSci, PhysicsAI, Shield AI and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which put their algorithms through their paces.
“In early December 2022, ACE algorithm developers uploaded their AI software into a specially modified F-16 test aircraft known as the X-62A or VISTA (Variable In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft), at the Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and flew multiple flights over several days. The flights demonstrated that AI agents can control a full-scale fighter jet and provided invaluable live-flight data,” DARPA said in a press release Monday.
…“We conducted multiple sorties [takeoffs and landings] with numerous test points performed on each sortie to test the algorithms under varying starting conditions, against various simulated adversaries, and with simulated weapons capabilities,” ACE program manager Lt. Col. Ryan “Hal” Hefron said in a statement. –DefenseScoop
Ok, then. Where do they anticipate this is going?
We’re heading down the path to have much more capability for uncrewed aircraft,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown said Monday at a Brookings Institution event. “When you look at one of our operational imperatives — next-generation air dominance family of systems — we’re going down the path of collaborative combat aircraft.”
Officials envision teaming those next-gen drones with manned platforms such as the F-35 and a forthcoming NGAD fighter.
“As we look into our future budgets there’s three aspects of this. There’s the platform itself, there’s the autonomy that goes with it, and then there’s how we organize, train and equip to build the organizations to go [use that technology]. And we’re trying to do all those in parallel. So we are thinking through aspects” of that, Brown said. “I think you’ll see as we start looking at our future budgets and the analysis we’re doing as part of our operational imperatives that we are committed to more uncrewed capability.” — DefenseScoop
Not that I’m particularly superstitious or anything, but I can’t be the only one noticing that the guy talking about integrating AI into our next generation of fighters has the callsign ‘Hal’.
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