Will AI Fight Wars Autonomously in the Future? Or Are We Already There?


  • Artificial intelligence has already reached the war fields and is deciding who to kill.
  • The US Air Force recently announced its dogfight exercises with an AI infused F-16 fighter jet.
  • Urgent regulations are needed to address the growing influence of AI in wars to prevent the human race from severe harm.

Artificial intelligence is expected to impact human life in every aspect of its existence, but the most concerning one that experts fear the most is its application in warfare, and they are not wrong here. The US military has conducted the first dogfight between a human controlled aircraft and an AI controlled jet fighter.

On the other hand, AI is already deciding who to target in the real war zones, like Gaza and Ukraine. Where Israel is being said to have deployed an AI algorithm called Lavender to identify potential targets by an Israeli publication +972 Magazine research and is said to have minimal human decision application, which resulted in a huge number of civilian casualties.

Countries around the world are testing AI weapons

So as we can see, careless deployment of AI in warfare can have devastating effects on humankind. It is essential to have a robust human control, which must be the primary decision maker before hitting a target. Russia is also using Iranian drones to target Ukraine, while Ukraine is relying on its Western allies to support it for AI-guided weapons and traditional arms. It recently attacked a few oil refineries as deep as 1300 kilometers inside Russia. These facts not only tell the dangers of AI directly for human lives but also for key resources and supply chains that support human civilization.

The US Air Force has recently tested an AI enabled F-16 in aerial combat under DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) Project, which was initiated a few years back. A highly modified version of an F-16 research aircraft was loaded with AI software. The aircraft is named X-62 VISTA (Variable Stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft), and it fought a number of dogfights against stock F-16s flown by human pilots.

According to the press conference, US Air Force officials said VISTA performed on par with human pilots and told about the training process of the AI system onboard the aircraft. 

Machine learning has provided another dimension to the unmanned aircraft industry, and the US military has been flying these autonomous ships for decades, but engaging in a dogfight that demands close contact between the opponents is a history in itself in aviation due to the risks involved and has never been tried before.

Urgent legislation is required to mitigate the AI threat

Source: Statista.

While many countries are developing autonomous vehicles, whether airborne or on the ground that can identify and hit targets without human interference,. 

According to a 2020 report of the United Nations, a military drone attacked soldiers in the Libyan war, and it is expected that the drone was acting on its own against fleeing members of the enemy militia who were running from rocket assault.

Looking at the practices explained above, it is without a doubt that the international community should sit in one place and address these issues on an urgent basis by involving all stakeholders. 

AI has not matured as a tech yet and is continuously evolving, showing vast potential and if not regulated properly, it may have serious consequences on the very existence of human life.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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