Move over, autopilot: This AI can avoid other planes

With all this busyness in the skies, researchers at Carnegie Mellon are working on an artificial intelligence pilot system that can carry out tasks like predicting what another aircraft might do, or keep an eye out for nearby planes using cameras on an aircraft. The idea is that an AI like this could help fly drones, assist a human pilot, or even someday fly a plane on its own.

Right now, in a flight simulator, the AI is able to figure out what another aircraft is doing, or might do, and then figure out how to safely land the plane accordingly…

In this case, the AI is looking out for another plane, not a car, of course. “It basically looks at their behavior for 10 seconds,” says Jay Patrikar, a doctoral student in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “It tries to judge: ‘They are here. What are they potentially likely to do?’”