The head of Lockheed Martin shot down a key plotline in actor Tom Cruise’s recent Top Gun: Maverick film, by noting AI will not replace pilots or any other human operator, instead being used to augment real-world interactions.

In the opening scenes of the film, featuring Lockheed Martin’s Darkstar aircraft, a test programme is shut down because AI will be used in place of human pilots.

But CEO Jim Taiclet (pictured) said the fiction will not become fact because the company is focused on using AI to augment humaAIUn involvement in defence and climate protection programmes.

“Humans are always going to be involved in national defence to make decisions of when to employ capabilities, when not to et cetera.”

“So when there’s any kind of action that needs to be taken there will always be a human decision maker”.

He explained Lockheed Martin established an AI ethics team to advise on how best to employ the technology to assist humans “in making effective decisions”, a move Taiclet believes all verticals using the technology must take.

Taiclet noted a combination of AI and autonomous technologies are boosting climate protection, enabling Lockheed Martin to predict where fires might break out and ensure machinery is already on-hand.

It makes these predictions by using AI engines “to basically do data fusion from a number of sources”.

All told, the “value of AI in all of our missions for national defence and for climate protection are really to take huge amounts of data and turn it into useful information for human decision makers”.