Ender's Game

Like something yanked straight out of a sci-fi movie, Air Force fighter pilots are going to start using augmented reality headsets for combat training.

"Better, faster, cheaper," Daniel Robinson, founder and CEO of Red 6, the AR manufacturer that nabbed a $70 million contract with the Air Force, told the Washington Post. "This is the way we’ll train [pilots] in the future."

According to the report, Air Force pilots will be able to train against virtualized versions of advanced jets like those manufactured in China and Russia within a year.

The movement of these AI-based ghosts can be overlaid over what the pilot sees through their headset in real-time, providing realistic training experience — without needing access to expensive, and hard-to-find fighter jets.

Besides, it's safer for pilots, too.

Beginner's Luck

Back in 2020, Robinson, a veteran F-22 pilot, took an early version of the AR headset for a spin, the first virtual dogfight between a real and an AI-based fighter jet.

Months prior, a virtual opponent, created by autonomous technologies company EpiSci, proved to be so good during early simulator-based test runs, it was able to obliterate a human Air Force pilot in a simulated dogfight.

That means training Air Force pilots will have to watch their backs — even if their opponent is being run by a computer.

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