AI TAKES AUTONOMOUS CONTROL TO FLY U-2 SPY PLANE MISSION | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

AI TAKES AUTONOMOUS CONTROL TO FLY U-2 SPY PLANE MISSION

On December 15, the United States Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California, marking the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system. In this Popular Mechanics exclusive, Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, reveals how he and his team made history.

For Star Wars fans, an X-Wing fighter isn’t complete without R2-D2. Whether you need to fire up converters, increase power, or fix a broken stabilizer, that trusty droid, full of lively beeps and squeaks, is the ultimate copilot.

Teaming artificial intelligence (AI) with pilots is no longer just a matter for science fiction or blockbuster movies. On Tuesday, December 15, the Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California: the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system.

Completing over a million training runs prior, the flight was a small step for the computerized copilot, but it’s a giant leap for “computerkind” in future military operations.

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