January 6, 2021
McLean, Va. – Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) announced today that it demonstrated the use of an in-flight artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm in support of the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing U-2 Federal Laboratory. This flight is the first time AI has teamed with a pilot to successfully complete a complex mission.
“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, senior vice president at Booz Allen and leader in the firm’s national security business. “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.”
The Booz Allen team delivered on several key milestones, moving AI from the lab to the skies in fewer than 40 days and accelerating the process by:
- Modifying an open source reinforcement learning algorithm;
- Developing two sensor-sharing and control games for the algorithm to interact with and learn from, and training it to execute in-flight tasks;
- Developing a web-based user interface available to pilots in flight;
- Arranging for program office approvals; and,
- Successfully flying the AI capability on the U-2 aircraft.