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China says its fighter pilots are battling AI aircraft in simulated dogfights, and humans aren’t the only ones learning

In China, fighter pilots have been battling aircraft piloted by artificial intelligence in simulated dogfights that seek to boost pilot combat skills, according to Chinese media. People’s Liberation Army Air Force brigade flight team leader and recognized fighter ace Fang Guoyu was allegedly recently shot down by a Chinese-developed AI adversary in an air-to-air combat simulation, according to the PLA Daily. The report states that early in the training, it was relatively easy to defeat the AI adversary. However, the technology’s capabilities increase with every round of combat.

Guoyo claims that the AI came back and used the same tactics against him, ultimately defeating him in the simulation. AI is being increasingly incorporated into military training throughout China and the US. China did not offer specifics on the simulator, which was allegedly developed by the military in cooperation with research institutes. However, there has been some worry over whether an AI adversary provides sufficiently realistic training necessary to prepare pilots for dogfights against manned aircraft.

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