Want to watch a fighter pilot dogfight against an AI opponent? Better hurry, signup closes today

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Are you a military nut? Here’s a webinar for you — DARPA and the US Air Force are having a showdown, pitting a fighter jet pilot against an artificial intelligence system in a simulated dogfight. Simulated because it’s not a good idea to give an AI its own jet… just yet.

World first

The AlphaDogFight event, set to kick off from 18 to 20 August, was originally slated to be a live-action outing in Las Vegas but the COVID-19 pandemic has turned it into an online one. And since the event’s being held online anyway… there’s a chance you can check it out in person. That’s not an opportunity you get every day.

The event will see several teams try and take on AI opponents developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory before competing against each other in elimination rounds. The overall winner will take on an American fighter pilot flying a simulated F-16, in the hopes of claiming an actual human scalp. Why? Well…

“The goal is to use the dogfight as the challenge problem to increase performance and trust in AI algorithms and bring together the AI research and operator communities,” according to the event website.

If you’re keen to watch the US Air Force try its hand at beating an AI system, you can register here but you’ve only got till the end of today to do so. And, since you’re not an American citizen, you’ve also got some other DARPA paperwork to do — you’ll find that form here. Do it before you register for the AlphaDogFight event. At the very least, you can tell your mates your DARPA accreditation just didn’t come through in time.

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