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Will Roper: Next-Gen Aircraft to Utilize AI for Pilot Support

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Dr. Will Roper
Dr. Will Roper Board of Directors Volansi

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and three-time Wash100 Award winner, said the service branch's future sixth-generation aircraft will feature an artificial intelligence co-pilot, Breaking Defense reported Friday. 

The Next-Generation Air Dominance program will apply AI as a support platform for human pilots aboard the future aircraft. Roper said the service will have to determine how to certify the AI platforms for this envisioned human-AI teaming approach.

“We have a process to train and equip people today, and determine that they are ready to go into operations, and now we need to do that for AI,” he said.

The U.S. Air Force is also working on the Skyborg program that aims to develop low-cost, attritable, autonomously flying drones.