How Microsoft Flight Simulator’s world comes together with Blackshark.ai

With about two weeks to go for launch on Microsoft Flight Simulator, we have a new Partnership series video from Microsoft and Asobo Studio detailing how their digital world comes together. Let’s have a look at this latest video and what we can learn and what it might represent for the future.

The Blackshark.ai challenge

Asobo Studio and Microsoft partnered with 50 plus AI engineers and geospatial engineers at Blackshark.ai to build the model of the world that has made Microsoft Flight Simulator look like nothing we’ve seen before. According to the video, their software together with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, allowed them to process and reconstruct1.5 billion buildings and 13 million square kilometers of vegetation.

The team has used a neural network AI process that helped to create the buildings, place trees, and create and place region specific scenery. It’s an impressive system and this short video is by far the most interesting of the Partnership series videos we’ve seen so far. Worth a look and listen if you’re interested in how Microsoft and Asobo are making the world of flight simulator work.

The world from now

The most incredible thing about Flight Simulator appears to be the world that they have created. Together with AI, photogrametry, satellite photos, roadmaps and other data, they have created an incredible recreation of planet earth.

The video about Blackshark.ai revealed an interesting tidbit of information that they can scan and update the world based on the available information in about 72-hours of computing time using Azure cloud computing. That is an incredibly short period of time to interpret and manage that much data.

Although we don’t know what the roadmap is yet for the future, one of the interesting things that I’m interested to see happen is how this data and information changes over time. Will new, higher definition satellite data make it in over time? Will the algorithm that manages creating the world also be upgraded? Rolling updates to the world that we’ll be streaming to our computers might be part of the goal of this sim as it moves forward from initial development.

With terms such as 5 and 10-year plans for this product being mentioned in different areas, it’s likely that the state of Flight Simulator now is just the beginning with more detail and more accuracy coming as time goes on. This is a genuinely interesting and exciting moment in the history of flight simulation and digital entertainment in general – and I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. VK-94 says:

    I do believe we’ll see continuous improvements within the sim thanks to this technology. This is, after all, one of its major selling point.

    I thought Microsoft had bought this company to recreate the entire planet. The fact that Blackshark.ai is an independent company makes me dream of a future when Eagle Dynamics will use their technology to populate the most accurate combat sim theater ever made. Even if we keep the actual size maps, it would be fantastic to have this kind of fidelity in DCS World.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CanadaOne says:

    Looking forward to your inevitable series of articles on FS2020 once it’s out. Can I ask which version you bought and if you used Steam or not? I got the vanilla version on Steam but I’m considering a refund and getting the super deluxe.

    “Please Lord, let someone build a high-fidelity F-104 for FS2020”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Good question! I got the Windows Store version although there seems to be little difference between the two. I wonder if there could be a few small benefits to going with the Microsoft platform for this.

      Pre-ordered the Premium Deluxe version… for the blog of course (and that SR22). 😎

      Like

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