In China, AI Warship Designer Nearly Did A Year’s Work Within A Day

A research team funded by China’s military mentioned that they used AI to design a warship’s electrical layout with incredible accuracy and speed.

It took the AI designer approximately a day to finish work that took human beings using the most advanced computer tools available 300 times longer – or about a year, per the team from the China Ship Design and Research Centre.

Their study was reportedly published in a China-based language journal, Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems, on 27 February.

Artificial Intelligence
Representation Image

Given the complexities and scale of modern warships, errors are an inevitable part of the design procedure, and it can take several hours to discover and correct these.

But when the researchers placed the AI designer on testing, with over 400 complex tasks, it achieved 100 % accuracy. They mentioned the team spearheaded by Luo Wei, a senior engineer associated with the ship design centre.

They mentioned there was space for improvement; however, the AI designer was prepared for engineering applications in the Chinese shipbuilding industry to enhance the warship manufacturing speed.

There are increasing concerns among some nations regarding China’s expanding military force and the capacity to construct warships – especially in the US.

Carlos Del Toro, the US Navy Secretary, last month informed reporters in Washington that China had 13 shipyards for warship production, and a shipyard has more capacity than our shipyards combined.

That also presents a real threat.

China plans to have over 400 warships by 2025, about one-third of the US fleet.

Del Toro noted that the China-based aircraft carrier fleet would be smaller than America’s. Still, he said that most Chinese warships were new and equipped with the latest technology, while a significant proportion of the US naval fleet was nearing retirement age.

He said that the US enjoyed a higher-quality labour force. China uses slave labour in building their vessels, right — that’s not how to do business, Del Toro mentioned. In multiple ways, the shipbuilders are better.

The team reportedly compared the AI designer to those developed by technology majors like Google to speed up the computer chip designs, noting crucial differences.

One is that there’s no room for errors in the warship design, but the AI chip designer can make a few mistakes.

It noted that an AI chip designer would be used to make many items – meaning several computing resources could be allocated to train it, and the firm could still make a significant profit. But an AI warship designer was working on a vessel without the resources of Big Tech.

The team’s warship designer is not an AI system that can learn and make decisions without human intervention – it is a machine that operates with advanced human guidance.

It begins by consulting a database of Chinese vessel design experience and knowledge from past decades and then comes up with a design again verified against the database. Luo’s team mentioned that the approach had significantly reduced the computing resources needed and eliminated errors.

While researchers observed that the effectiveness of AI designers had until now only been proven for the layout of electrical systems, they explained that it had carried out the design tasks much faster and way more accurately than humans and that it could efficiently be utilized with a small computer system.

Other nations may have developed similar systems but haven’t disclosed them publicly due to military sensitivity.

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