The AI behind military drone swarms will be based on gamers

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Ever played a competitive game of Starcraft? You’ve got to think incredibly fast to really excel at it. Dozens of things are screen, multiple targets, prioritising the correct routes to take to best outmaneuver. There’s a lot of strategy involved and clearly the US military is started paying attention.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo will soon be conducted detailed analyses of professional gamers’ decisions, eye movements and brainwaves as they play strategy games. This data will then be coded into an AI that will control autonomous air and ground robots.

To obtain this data, the subjects will sat down and made to play a real-time strategy game, akin to Warcraft 3 or Command and Conquer, but the game will be especially designed to simulate real-life conflicts and situations. The data gathered from these sessions through electroencephalography headsets and high speed cameras will then be used to design algorithms that will be plonked in over 250 military drones.

Souma Chowdhury, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Buffalo, stated, “We don’t want the AI system just to mimic human behavior; we want it to form a deeper understanding of what motivates human actions. That’s what will lead to more advanced AI.”

The project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and is expected to kick off in the near future.

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