Skynet, Loon edition; also see Machine Learning Invades the Real World on Internet Balloons (Wired)
"Now, the team says they’ve found a way to keep the balloons in a much more concentrated location, thanks to their improved altitude control and navigation system. Loon says that balloons will now make small loops over a land mass, instead of circumnavigating the whole planet.A breakthrough in Alphabet’s balloon-based internet project means it might actually work - Recode
“The reason this is so exciting is we can now run an experiment and try to give services in particular places of the world with 10 or 20 or 30 balloons, not with 200 or 300 or 400 balloons,” said the head of X, Astro Teller, at a press event at X’s headquarters in Mountain View today.
The Loon balloons now also adjust how they fly as needed using artificial intelligence software, instead of a set navigation plan.
“We’ve actually made so much progress that we think our timeline for when we can provide useful internet service to people is much, much sooner,” said Sal Candido, an engineer on the Loon project."