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What could China use its new robot ship controlled by artificial intelligence for? China is launching the first ship in the world that can navigate the open waters on its own with the help of artificial intelligence. Beijing officially called it a tool for marine research. However, some experts said the ship could also be used as a military vessel. The Zhu Hai Yun, about 88 meters long, 13 m wide, and 6 m in depth, could be carrying a dozen air, sea, and diving drones equipped with various monitoring devices, according to the ship's manufacturer, CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipping Co. 

The company calls the ship "revolutionary" and "the world's first autonomous ship controlled by artificial intelligence."

China could also use the robot ship for military purposes

The most significant advantage for China is probably data collection. From a scientific perspective, Chinese drones could contribute to disaster relief, environmental monitoring, and the like.

But drones could also be used by the Chinese military to gather intelligence in the disputed North China Sea, where several countries have claims to territory.

China's increasing assertion of its maritime claims has strengthened Chinese military positions even further in recent years. When dealing with China, we rarely have a clear idea of its plans. Yet, as our experience with its operations in the South China Sea has demonstrated, academic activity can be a forerunner or support military goals.

Technologies, particularly data gathering networks, are frequently dual-purpose. The data China collects through autonomous systems can help surveillance and territory detection, help China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) submarines navigate, enhance China's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capacity, and so on.

The ship was introduced in May, though it is anticipated to be deliverable by the end of 2022 after the completion of sea trials.

Autonomous systems could be "the future of war."

The South China Morning Post newspaper reported that the ship uses the first artificial intelligence technology system, the Intelligent Mobile Ocean Stereo Observing System, designed by Guangdong's Southern Marine Science and Technology Laboratory. The shipbuilder said that the boat is remotely controlled and can travel at a maximum speed of about 20 mph. That corresponds to the equivalent of a good 32 kilometers per hour.

The laboratory director where the robot ship was created said in 2021 that the boat is a new "marine species" that would bring about a revolution in observing the ocean. Already China is the world's largest shipbuilder and could become a "maritime superpower."

Although its potential applications are still unknown, armies worldwide have been paying increasing attention to the development of drones and autonomous vehicles. The developer noted that China had invested heavily in various areas such as drones and autonomous vehicles to strengthen the position of its naval forces. It will be part of the future of the war.

China is by far the largest robot market in the world. It is evident in both annual sales and operational inventories. The China Robotics Alliance has unveiled its second robotics industry development plan for the 14-year period. The new five-year plan promotes China's digital development and academic upgrading and the global development of robotics.

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