China to use AI to enhance its nuclear submarines

China is reportedly working on enhancing its nuclear submarines with artificial intelligence (AI). AI would be used to upgrade the computer systems through which submarines are managed, with the aim of assisting commanding officers in making decisions. According to a researcher cited by the South China Morning Post, ‘an AI decision-support system with its own thoughts would reduce the commanding officers’ workload and mental burden’. There are several ways in which an AI assistant could support the work of submarines’ commanding officers: assessing the environment, recognising and flagging threats, estimating the risks and benefits of certain manoeuvres, and suggesting possible moves. While researchers work on developing a system that is compatible with the existing computer system on submarines and is simple enough to reduce risks of failure, it is not expected that the deployment of such as system would lead to reducing the size of submarine crews. The system is said to be complementing human capabilities, and not replacing them.