The Chinese military has successfully tested long-range artillery powered by artificial intelligence, expecting greater shooting accuracy and reduced warfare costs, a Hong Kong-based newspaper reported on Monday, citing a team of scientists working on the technology for China’s military.
Numerous tests conducted by the Chinese experts last July determined that the AI-powered artillery that was guided by laser could hit human-sized targets at the distance of 16 kilometers (10 miles), exceeding the experts’ expectations, the report said, adding that the technology would potentially reduce the cost of warfare.
Traditional artillery has a margin of error of around 100 meters (328 feet), with modern artillery systems also limited in their accuracy since they require a number of real-time parameters like wind and air temperature that need to be taken into account during the fire, the newspaper said. The AI systems accelerate necessary calculations, leading to a better accuracy, it added.
China and the United States are currently competing in developing “smart artillery” to reduce the costs of warfare focusing on producing more artillery shells instead of missiles that are much more expensive, according to the report.
In late March, prominent computer scientists and tech entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, signed an open letter calling for an immediate pause on the training of AI systems for at least six months to create norms regulating development and use of modern AI technologies. The letter was published as excitement and anxiety started to grow among the public over increasing AI capabilities, demonstrated by ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence chatbots.