Did you ever see the techno-thriller Stealth (2005)?

Don’t feel slighted if you didn’t. Hardly anyone else did, either.

What with a stale script (cribbed in part, but not wholly, from the vastly superior The Bridges at Toko-Ri), unexceptional acting (everybody just oozing testosterone, even the female lead), and a trite conspiracy plot that was old hat in the 19th century, Stealth bombed at the box office.

However, what the film did have, and in abundance, was excellent visual effects depicting something that was at the time very science fiction-y: a self-directed attack aircraft capable of independent action—in other words, a smart drone equipped with artificial intelligence (AI).

Well, fact almost caught up with fiction this month when an unmanned plane landed aboard and launched from an aircraft carrier off the Virginia coast.

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