DARPA, a research agency of the US Department of Defense, announced that artificial intelligence algorithms they can now control a real F-16 in flight.
“In early December 2022, ACE's algorithm developers uploaded their artificial intelligence software to a specially modified F-16 test aircraft, also known as the X-62A or VISTA (Variable In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft), at its Pilot Test School of the Air Force (TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The aircraft made several flights over several days." states a DARPA press release.
"The flights proved that AI can control a full-scale fighter aircraft and provided invaluable live flight data."
DARPA's Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program began in 2020, when the agency began testing artificial intelligence flights, with the project AlphaDogfight Trials. It was a competition between different companies to see who could create the most advanced algorithm for an AI powered aircraft.
The ACE is one of six hundred Department of Defense projects that integrate artificial intelligence into the country's defense programs.
In 2018, the US government committed to spending up to $2 billion in AI investments over the next five years, and spent $2,58 billion on AI research and development in 2022 alone.
Other defense AI projects include building robots, other wearable technology, and of course smarter intelligence gathering.