Microsoft’s Project Airsim brings AI flights into the metaverse

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What would happen if you take the Microsoft Flight Simulator video games and brought them to the metaverse? That question has sort of been answered with Project Airsim, which won’t just be used for video game-style simulation but actual training for autonomous drones. Project Airsim is a way to get AI flights ready for the real world and the situations they will be needed in.

Virtual drone training for real-life AI flying

Microsoft said on their blog that they feel AI drones will need the virtual world to fly better since they can’t get that kind of data in the real world, hence making Project Airsim in the metaverse. Josh Riedy, the CEO of Airtonomy, seemingly agrees as he tested Project Airsim himself and has vouched for it.

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“You don’t want to fly drones into wind turbines, powerlines or really anything for that matter,” Riedy said. “Coupled with the fact that winter can literally last 7 months in North Dakota, we realized we needed something other than the physical world to design our solutions for customers.”

Because the metaverse is a virtual world, this will allow AI models of drones to learn about the various environments and how to prepare for them. Apparently, the realistic environments in Project Airsim will allow for these drones to run through millions of flights in seconds, at least if Microsoft’s words are to be trusted.

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Making AI flight better for you and me

Project Airsim was supposedly inspired by a previous simulation that was simply known as Airsim. While Airsim has been retired, Project Airsim will be a metaverse platform that allows Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) customers to more easily test and train AI-powered aircraft in simulated 3D environments.

“Everyone talks about AI, but very few companies are capable of building it at scale,” said Balinder Malhi, engineering lead for Project AirSim. “We created Project AirSim with the key capabilities we believe will help democratize and accelerate aerial autonomy – namely, the ability to accurately simulate the real world, capture and process massive amounts of data and encode autonomy without the need for deep expertise in AI.”

While the metaverse is still a hard sell for many, seeing it used for things like Project Airsim shows that this can be a useful platform. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft makes this platform better and improves on it in the future. Hopefully, with a platform like this, AI flights can be something we trust, though we’ll stick with human pilots for now.