There has always been a fascinating curiosity between man and machine. It is a race to the top.
Who gets to have bragging rights and who will be left behind in the dust? While technology keeps moving forward, traditionalists would prefer a person’s handling on tasks over a machine’s. This can be anything from computing, navigating, or even simple labor.
The Race to the Top
There is a classic argument against technology. It says that no matter how advanced tech gets, nothing can still beat human intuition. Indeed, humans have the capacity to react, readjust, and think outside the box. They do not need to follow a programmed route and can change decisions in a split-second. Machines on the other hand are more efficient, faster, and can do tasks at a larger scale at a fraction of the time. But can a machine truly beat a human?
For the drone world, that question was answered this month at the Drone Racing League. The premise is simple – can a human pilot beat an AI-piloted drone.
Race Against the Machine
The race included nine drones controlled by a computer program. These can fly and can change directions according to their programming. They are devoid of any human controls. For drone creators, that is the dream – pure autonomy Pitted against them is Gabriel Kocher, one of the world’s leading drone racers.
At the end of it, Kocher won by finishing a course at six seconds. The fastest drone finished double the time – at twelve seconds. For now, in this first ever race, humans drew the first blow. However, this is not the end of the drone AI vs human pilot debate. It is said that the next decade will completely phase out human intervention from regular drone tasks. When it comes to routine tasks, automation is the undisputed future. But for now, we celebrate.