Preloader image AI, Brain & Cognition

Northrop Grumman

For teaching drones to land—and avoid landing—on aircraft carriers.Northrop Grumman’s X-47B robot plane made history last May as the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched by catapult from a carrier. Then it upped the ante, making an arrested carrier landing in July. Subsequent aborted landings were widely criticized, missing the point: Having detected technical issues, the largely autonomous prototype for a future pilotless fighter decided to land elsewhere. Avoiding a fiery carrier crash might be the best example yet of machine intelligence.