$35 Computer Beats Seasoned Pilot In Computer Simulated Dogfight

fighter pilot

When the Deep Blue computer first defeated Garry Kasparov at chess in 1996, the world came to the frightening realization that modern computers were capable of out thinking humans. However, that was 20 years ago. How far have computers advanced since then? Quite a bit, considering the fact that cheap, handheld computers are now capable of beating humans in a wide variety of arenas.

That’s what retired Air Force pilot Colonel Gene Lee learned when he went up against an AI program in a computer simulated dogfight, which is something he has done countless times over the past 30 years with a wide variety of computer programs. This time however, the AI beat him in the simulation every single time, despite being powered by nothing more than a $35 Raspberry Pi computer. Lee described the AI, which has been dubbed ALPHA, as “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I’ve seen to date.”

Colonel Lee went on to describe how ruthless and cunning the computer program was, which was unheard of in previous AI simulators that would rarely beat seasoned fighter pilots. “I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was. It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and missile deployment. It knew how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed.”

To put this in perspective, the Raspberry Pi has a fraction of the computing power that Deep Blue had. While everyone knows that computer hardware is many times faster now than it was 20 years ago; clearly, software is expanding by leaps and bounds as well.

ALPHA also managed to consistently beat several additional expert fighter pilots according to its creators. Which has to make you wonder, how long will it be before drones eliminate our manned air force entirely?

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .