US naval pilots and sailors will not be considered crazy for reporting unidentified flying objects, under new rules designed to encourage them to keep track of what they see.
But just a few years ago, the Pentagon reportedly stopped another official program that investigated UFO sightings. What has changed? Is the US Army finally considering that alien spacecraft are visiting our planet?
The answer to that question is almost certainly no.
The misinterpretation by people of observations of natural phenomena is as old as time and includes examples such as manatees who are seen as mermaids and driftwood in a Scottish lake that is interpreted as a monster.
A more recent and relevant example is the strange luminous structure in the sky caused by a SpaceX rocket launch.
In such cases, incorrect interpretations occur because people have incomplete information or misunderstand what they see.
Based on my previous experience as an Air Force science consultant, I believe the Pentagon wants to avoid this kind of confusion, so it needs to better understand flying objects that it cannot identify now.
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US Navy pilots and sailors will not be considered crazy for reporting unidentified flying objects, according to new rules. But just a few years ago, the Pentagon reportedly stopped another official program that investigated UFO sightings. What has changed? Stock image
During a military mission, whether in peace or at war, if a pilot or soldier cannot identify an object, they have a serious problem: how should they respond without knowing whether it is neutral, friendly or threatening?
Fortunately, the military can use advanced technologies to identify strange things in the air.
The & # 39; U & # 39; from & # 39; UFO & # 39; get it
& # 39; Situational awareness & # 39; is the military term for a complete understanding of the environment in which you operate.
A UFO represents a gap in situational awareness. Right now, when a navy pilot sees something strange during the flight, the only thing he or she can do is ask other pilots and air traffic control what they saw at that spot.
The number of UFO reports worldwide has reached a peak of more than 8,000 in a year. It is not known how many military experiences there are.
Even the most documented incidents come unresolved despite interviewing dozens of witnesses and viewing many written documents, as well as many audio and video recordings.
UFOs are an opportunity for the military to improve its identification processes.
At least part of that work could be done in the future by automated systems and possibly in real time as an incident unfolds.
Military vehicles – Humvees, warships, planes and satellites – are covered with sensors.
They are not only passive devices such as radio receivers, video cameras & infrared imagers, but active systems such as radar, sonar and lidar.
Moreover, a military vehicle is rarely alone – vehicles travel in convoys, sail in fleets and fly in formations. Above them are all satellites that look from above.
Take a complete photo
Sensors can provide a wealth of information about UFOs, including range, speed, direction, shape, size and temperature. With so many sensors and so much data, however, it is a challenge to merge the information into something useful.
However, the army is intensifying its work on autonomy and artificial intelligence.
A possible use of these new technologies could be to combine them to analyze all the many signals if they come from sensors, and to separate all observations that cannot be identified.
In such cases, the system can even assign sensors to nearby vehicles or orbiting satellites to collect additional information in real time. Then it could compile an even more complete picture.
At the moment, however, people need to consider what all the details reveal.
An image of images made by the navy showing a meeting between American fighter jets and & # 39; anomalous air vehicles & # 39; flying at 25,000 feet
That is because an important challenge for the successful use of artificial intelligence is building trust or trust in the system.
For example, in a famous experiment by Google scientists, an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm for image recognition was misled to mistakenly identify a photo of a panda as a gibbon, simply by distorting a small number of the original pixels.
So until people understand UFOs better, we can't learn computers about it. In my opinion, the new approach taken by the navy to report UFO encounters is a good first step.
This can ultimately lead to a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to object identification where data from many sensors is combined by applying artificial intelligence and autonomy.
Only then will there be fewer and fewer UFOs in the air – because they will no longer be unidentified.
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