737-800 down in China

15 Jun 2007
I'm sure that AI (hate this term, but I'll go with it) either can be, or probably already is, better at flying than humans. If you look at modern fighter jets, they *need* computers to control the flight surfaces to keep the plane in the air, humans aren't capable of it, it's too complicated and fast (Just like ABS is better at braking than humans). Landing a jumbo in bad weather surely can't be technically harder at a physics level than the acrobatics pulled off in an F22 - though happy to be corrected on this if anyone knows better.

That's just low level mechanical stuff being automated, though. The question here IMO is really about AI making decisions when unexpected things happen. And as we know from self-driving, attentive and competent humans are still better at that.
But even if AI beats us on that, the way I see it is having a pilot is a relatively minor cost of operating a flight, compared to the fuel, maintenance, slots, etc. So we may as well always have a pilot or two onboard just in case.
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