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Humans have reached a level of technology beyond that which they had ever conceived of before. Their ships are capable of FTL travel using warp technology and they can make small hyperspace jumps between systems. As a result, they are able to cross the milky way in a matter of months and explore regions of space that were thought to be unreachable.

Naturally, there is a war raging between the People's Order of the King's Esteemed Republic (Some question the "democracy" of this faction's leadership) and the United Nations of Orion. The war is nearing an end, and the POKER are in retreat from the onslaught of UNO's armies.

Throughout the war between POKER and UNO, human pilots have been used on the front lines, engaging in dogfighting and other 20th-century piloting nonsense.

How can I justify the need for human fighter pilots, when this society is obviously advanced enough to have automated pretty much all of a human pilot's functions? And I'm not talking "the pilot tells the ship where to go and it does the rest", I'm talking a throttle and stick layout with manual weapons and et cetera.


Footnote: all characters and/or nations in this world are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to an existing character and/or nation (or card game), living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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  • $\begingroup$ Too broad. There could be several reasons in favor or against human pilots and dogfights. We need a context. $\endgroup$ – Valerio Pastore Jun 23 '18 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ I think a very similar question was asked not long ago... $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jun 23 '18 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I'll have another search but I didn't find any duplicates the first time $\endgroup$ – Aric Jun 23 '18 at 20:30
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We put humans in control of machines for a few major reasons:

  • Humans can make judgments beyond the abilities of artificial intelligence
  • Humans can apply skills to a task that automation can't match
  • Humans can troubleshoot technical faults, compensate for technical failures, and problem-solve unique situations; in other words, humans are adaptable.

This is how it has been in the age before electronics.

But, even before the days of computers, airplanes had autopilots which could maintain attitude, altitude and airspeed, and even execute climbs and descents to target altitude or turns to a target heading.

Modern aircraft can practically fly themselves; they only need to be programmed with the details of what path to follow to get there.

Modern military drones are capable of flying attack missions entirely autonomously.

Where automation still comes up short is judgment and adaptability; when things go wrong, or the unexpected happens, automation can end up doing unpredictable things. No matter how good the AI, there will always be some element of the unpredictable. We keep humans in the decision-making loop to take charge of unexpected situations because we feel more comfortable about the decisions a human makes than the decisions a machine might make.

All of this is to say that there is no real rationale to leave stick-and-rudder flying to a human when a machine can do just as good a job, but when it comes to a go/no-go final decision on weapons release, there is at least a political, if not practical motive to keep a human in the loop.

Any civilization more advanced than we are would have no reason to do any different.

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  • $\begingroup$ After some thought, I've considered that perhaps in the future, hacking is so advanced that no computer system is safe from an opponent who has a lot of money to spend on the correct equipment. Therefore, a drone would not be feasible. Since the question is a duplicate anyway and is now closed, I'll accept this as the best answer given before closure. $\endgroup$ – Aric Jun 23 '18 at 23:03
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Only humans make war.

Technologic war is too dangerous. Artificial intelligences, when given the reins, can and do efficiently exterminate worlds. It is not even really war when the computers do it. The human race almost extinguished itself in the remote past for exactly this reason, and the survivors learned: war is too serious a business to be entrusted to machines.

In this future, artificial intelligences of any kind are viewed with extreme suspicion when they are allowed to exist at all. Although all the technological bells and whistles exist, they are deployed and controlled solely through the action of human eyes, hands and minds.

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