Drones are now all set to enter the battlefield. The United States Airforce has started to develop an Artificial Intelligence program that will autonomously fly combat drones. Besides flying autonomously and dodging obstacles in the path of flight on its own, these drones can also perform tasks such as aiming and firing at enemy targets. Most of these tasks will be done automatically, thanks to the ever-growing progress in Artificial Intelligence. The Air Force office of Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation at the Air Force Research Laboratory has planned to bring these drone prototypes to the field by 2023.

AI controlled drone

Skyborg Conceptual Design

Drones controlled by AI

The team that has been working on the development of the Skyborg program has revealed that it was inspired by the new developments in the gaming industry. The autonomous drones seem to be straight out of a science fiction movie. But officials have said that it will have nothing in similar to the drones from the thriller science fiction movies, yet it will be a game changer in the autonomous combat vehicle industry. The team has stated that they are looking to develop low-cost drones that can be networked and controlled individually and as swarms by a special Artificial Intelligence program. As the project works its way to fruition, machine learning will also be incorporated into the algorithm. This means that these unmanned aerial combat vehicles will learn through the operation and will be able to make decisions on their own in the future models.

The AI Race

Project Skyborg US Airforce

The U.S. Airforce has specified all the requirements for these combat drones to any manufacturer who is willing to partner with the Skyborg team for bringing actual working prototypes to the field. “Technology will continue to mature fairly rapidly. Our primary focus is on how to bring this to reality in a safe manner. That is our priority in this early period”, says Major Ryan Carr, at the AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate. Artificial Intelligence is a booming industry and the U.S. looks forward to entering the race of AI controlled drones. U.S. Airforce will soon give its pilots the best wingmen to enter the battlefield with. It will be a first for combat drone technology, although AI technology has been under test in the British and Russian forces.