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The US Ministry of Defense wants to increase trust in Artificial Intelligence. Human pilot will compete with AI technology in the third and final competition in AlphaDogfight Trials – organized by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA. An artificial intelligence algorithm will face off against a human F-16 fighter pilot in an aerial combat simulation. 

The simulation will be virtual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The competition is part of DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution, or ACE, program, which was started in 2019, and seeks to automate air-to-air combat as well as improve human trust in AI systems to bolster human-machine teaming.

The competition was created to demonstrate advanced AI systems’ ability in air warfare. Eight teams were selected last year to participate in the final competition that runs from Aug. 18-20, according to 

Col. Dan Javorsek, program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, stated: “It’s been amazing to see how far the teams have advanced AI for autonomous dogfighting in less than a year.”

“If the champion AI earns the respect of an F-16 pilot, we’ll have come one step closer to achieving effective human-machine teaming in air combat, which is the goal of the ACE program,” he added.

On the first day of the competition, the teams will fly their respective algorithms against five AI systems developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Teams will face off against each other in a round-robin tournament on the second day, with the third day featuring the top four teams competing in a single-elimination tournament for the championship. The winner will then fly against a human pilot.