Booz Allen demos in-flight AI algorithm for Air Force
First-time pilot uses AI to complete 'complex mission'
McLean-based Fortune 500 global management consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. announced Wednesday it demoed the use of an in-flight artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing U-2 Federal Laboratory.
This marks the first time that a pilot has teamed up with AI to successfully complete a “complex mission,” according to Booz Allen.
“The threats facing our national security are increasingly sophisticated and it will be critical to move new innovations from the lab to the real world to combat them,” said Dick Johnson, Booz Allen senior vice president and leader in the firm’s national security business, in a statement. “This U-2 flight is an important step, demonstrating the ability of AI to work in coordination with highly skilled operators to propel complex missions forward.”
In less than 40 days, Booz Allen team members modified an open-source reinforcement learning algorithm and developed a web-based pilot interface with two-sensor sharing.
“Together, our Air Force and Booz Allen U-2 Federal Lab teams successfully operationalized artificial intelligence, enabling the AI to emulate control of sensor systems on a U-2 Dragon Lady in a training flight, marking one of the first known uses of AI on board a U.S. military aircraft,” Jesse I. Angle, Booz Allen senior lead technologist, said in a statement.
Booz Allen has 27,173 employees, with 10,245 in Virginia.