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Software Science

DARPA Advances AI Program For Air Traffic Control 142

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-have-the-type-of-job-robots-will-be-doing-soon dept.
coondoggie writes to tell us that DARPA has taken the next step in a program that aims to utilize artificial intelligence for the purposes of air traffic control. "GILA will also help Air Force planners use and retain the skills of expert operators, especially as they rotate out of the Air Force. DARPA says the artificial intelligence software will learn by assembling knowledge from different sources — including generating knowledge by reasoning. According to a Military & Aerospace item, such software has to combine limited observations with subject expertise, general knowledge, reasoning, and by asking what-if questions."
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DARPA Advances AI Program For Air Traffic Control

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  • Re:No way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 (722110) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:33PM (#22383012)
    I don't trust people to do this job, so why the hell would I trust a computer?

    They don't drink, they don't smoke pot, they don't get tired, inattentive, they don't have wife/husband/kid problems, no financial problems and also no mental ones.

    Some of us got a new hip installed by a robot, so why not trust a computer to tell our plane the right things, especially since their colleagues are already flying the planes most of the time.
  • Re:No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kabocox (199019) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:56PM (#22383280)
    I don't trust people to do this job, so why the hell would I trust a computer?

    Because a computer won't miss work, show up drunk or stoned, or just be inattentive while at this high stress job. Of course, it assumes that we can automate the task without buggy software. You always "trust" people. You trust those that built the roads that you drive on, you trust those that build your cars, you trust that food sold at stores is "safe", and you trust those that designed, built, and fly planes do their job well. You may have doubts about the perfection of the system, but its kinda implied that you "trust" the system if you are using it. You may have doubts about Linux or MS, but odds are you are using one of the two so you must trust them.

    I don't "trust" humans to drive cars. There are thousands killed a year because of stupid human drivers. We've not been able to automate that task though we've been trying.
    How able are we to actually automate air travel controller's tasks? Honestly, this is a great idea, but making an immortality drug, curing diseases, or usable fusion are also a great ideas. We've been having problems with those as well.
  • Re:True Skynet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:00PM (#22383320) Journal

    retain the skills of expert operators, especially as they rotate out of the Air Force

    This sounds like they're setting themselves up for one of the less predictable problems with the expert systems of the '80s: namely the fact that experts sometimes don't want to transfer their hard-acquired knowledge into a box designed to replace them. But given that this is the Air Force, "orders" might be the solution.

  • Re:True Skynet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JediN8 (941637) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:07PM (#22383410)
    "GILA will also help Air Force planners use and retain the skills of expert operators, especially as they rotate out of the Air Force"

    The experts in question are leaving the air force and taking knowledge with them. The AI is not replacing a person being layed off.
  • Why are there so many Luddites on slashdot? Computers do certain things extremely well, people! And no, I don't want to hear about this or that piece of consumer electronics failing, or some past improbable failing - that type of argument does not dissuade me from knowing that systems can be made rigorously and work in critical situations. As a matter of fact, computers routinely handle all sorts of critical systems continuously, without failure. Critical computer failures are the exception in rigorously engineered applications, not the norm. Conversely, human have a much higher failure rate.
  • Advances? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by killmofasta (460565) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:05PM (#22385580)
    See: []
    Its going to take 20 years and 20 billion dollars.

    Next generation intelligence? Jesus, if they had a DOS prompt, it would be a step up. The current computers were built in the 50s, and have increasing downtimes. ATCs float the boat ( the old manual system, that dates to pre-WWII ) at least once a week, and twice in one day in december. ( Busiest time )

    They have to phase in the new system, because they still do not know how reliably it all scales. On 9/11 only a few ATC centers went on manual, while the automatic system was able to ground 80% of the planes in an hour.

    Good to announce it now, in the least busiest month.

    APPLY NOW! ATCs make $100k within 3 years, 18 to 31yo! I know two of them, and they are both millionaires.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure