The Drive’s The War Zone this week wrote about Red 6, a company that uses Augmented Reality to help train the Air Force in air-to-air combat training. Red 6, the site reported, “recently demonstrated the ability to conduct training sorties that pit a real pilot against multiple simulated adversaries, as well as work with a friendly virtual wingman to engage a single mock threat, rather than just one-on-one engagements.” Red 6 was founded in 2018.
Last month, Red 6 was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, which could be worth up to $70 million.
“This award is indicative of Red 6’s commitment to deliver training solutions for the defense community,” Daniel Robinson, Founder and CEO of Red 6, said in the announcement of that new contract. “We are excited to continue to grow our presence within the U.S. Air Force as we harness the power of our one-of-a-kind technology in support of the warfighter… “Red 6 is ushering in a new era of training, and with the support of the U.S. Air Force, we aim to deliver an extraordinary increase to readiness, proficiency, training capacity, and capability.”
Another interesting aspect of Red 6’s work is the ability to have “simulated AI-driven wingmen.”
“In the past, the company had said it was able to insert friendly aircraft, including tankers, into this synthetic training, but pilots were only able to conduct general flight maneuvers in relation to them. Red 6 plans to continue working to add more types of assets — in the air and on the surface — to its simulations as time goes on,” The Drive said.
“Can a machine learn in real-time should it encounter a weapon or circumstance not stored in its database? It may not have a reference point against which to analyze new information. Advanced AI-systems are only as effective as the database they operate with. Now there is much work going on to expedite real-time machine learning and fast-moving or immediate analytics, yet it is not yet fully established that machines can reliably process all new information as quickly and as accurately as humans can,” we asked.
“What about more subjective determinations? Perhaps a computer might be inclined to mistake a manned system for a drone, or interpret an approaching conventional weapon as nuclear? Humans make philosophical, emotional and psychologically nuanced decisions often informed by less “calculable” criteria and therefore less likely to be accurately mirrored or replicated by machines.”
Red 6 also announced recently that Retired Four-Star Admiral Bill Moran has joined its board of directors.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.