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Though the "brain" can successfully control a flight simulation program, more elaborate applications are a long way off, DeMarse said.

Because flying a jet isn't all that impressive!?




On the scale of human brains, the type of flying described in the article is actually pretty easy. I've taught children as young as six years old to do it [in the pods shown at http://www.museumofflight.org/programs/aviation-learning-cen... ], and even younger kids show promise but didn't have the physical ability to use the control setup (the stick was too big, the chairs weren't tall enough, etc.) Honestly, walking is a considerably more elaborate task than flying a jet on a PC simulator.

I'm still impressed that an artificial brain was able to do it.

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They've evolved a neural network (in this case, made of real neurons instead of computer simulation) which presumably emits certain signals when it does not detect the horizon in the correct position. It's impressive, but I don't think they were having it take off from an aircraft carrier and land at JFK.

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The kind of flight demonstrated is routinely done by flies with smaller brains.

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Fruit flies have about 100k neurons, according to Wikipedia.

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Amazing. This puts the F-22 pilot between a fruit fly and a sea slug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_by_number_of_ne...

But that's unfair. F-22's don't have to reproduce.

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Every time I see a Wikipedia list such as this I can't help to marvel at the extent at which people contribute.

Yet as a developer I still have the uneerie feeling that all this data ought to be in a database and such a page content should be autogenerated with a single query.

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Flying straight and level is More or less the me dificulty of driving a pedal cart in your street (with an added dimension up and down). Old time jets were very tricky to flight due to their high inestability. But modern flybywire combat jets must be easy to fly( even if they are impossible to fly without computers due to their crazy inestability), because the hard part is outside in the combat theater. Also like in sea combat, the most important part is not being a skill beast (aerobatic champion), is more about knowing how to obtain the best positions, that gives you advantage against your enemies. Any way I don't see rat brains landing in a n aircraft carrier anytime soon!

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Imagine the next generation of hacker t-shirt : "I can replace you with a small bathtub of rat brain cells"

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That was exactly what I was thinking.

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Controlling pitch and roll while at altitude is not actually very impressive, no. If you were writing code to do this, you'd probably just slap a PID controller on each axis, tune the coefficients, and be done. You might break 100 lines of code if you like being verbose.

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People have quite significantly more sophisticated control that that running on dinky little 8 bit micro controllers, see Ardupilot at https://store.diydrones.com/APM_2_5_Kit_p/br-ardupilotmega-0...

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I'd still rather watch rats play basketball than a rat brain smear fly a fighter jet. It's just so much cuter.

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Yeah, you'd think it should have ushered-in a few more serious applications but given that, as others mention, the article is from 2004, it seems that indeed "more elaborate applications are a long way off".

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