China Has Created The World’s First AI Commander For War Simulations

Chinese researchers have developed a sophisticated “caged” artificial intelligence (AI) military commander designed to emulate the strengths and weaknesses of human strategic planners, both living and deceased. This AI is housed within a laboratory at the Joint Operations College of the National Defence University in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.

It has participated in large-scale computer war games for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), providing it with access to supreme command authority and allowing it to adapt to the dynamic nature of warfare. The project was publicly disclosed in a peer-reviewed paper in May, led by senior engineer Jia Chenxing and his team, who believe this AI offers a feasible solution to the complexities of modern military command.

In China, military operations are governed by the principle that the Communist Party commands the military, with ultimate control residing with the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China.

As AI technology evolves, autonomous units like drones and robotic dogs are gaining more decision-making authority, though ultimate command remains human. The PLA has numerous operational plans for potential conflicts in regions such as Taiwan and the South China Sea. To evaluate these plans, simulations are essential, and the AI commander can substitute human commanders in virtual scenarios when they are unavailable.

The AI commander is initially programmed with the capabilities of an experienced and brilliant strategist, characterized by sound mental faculties, a calm and steadfast demeanor, and the ability to analyze and judge situations rationally. Unlike humans, the AI does not make emotional or impulsive decisions, swiftly recalling similar scenarios to devise practical plans. Its personality can be adjusted if necessary, ensuring it can handle immense pressure without succumbing to irrational decisions.

Jia’s team explained that the AI commander’s initial setting resembles that of a seasoned and brilliant strategist. They said the AI possessed “sound mental faculties, a poised and steadfast character, and the ability to analyze and judge situations calmly.”

They also mentioned that the AI was devoid of emotional or impulsive decisions and was swift in devising practical plans by recalling similar decision-making scenarios from memory.

“The virtual commander’s personality can be fine-tuned if deemed necessary,” they added. Under immense pressure, individuals may struggle to make fully rational decisions within strict time constraints, according to Jia’s team.

However, the AI commander is not without its limitations. It mimics human forgetfulness through a size limit on its knowledge base, forcing it to discard some information when memory capacity is exceeded. This constraint ensures the AI’s decision-making process mirrors human fallibility. Despite this, the AI enables the PLA to identify new threats, formulate strategic plans, and make optimal decisions, learning from both successes and failures in simulated battles.

Overall, this AI commander represents a significant advancement in military technology, blending empirical knowledge with strategic decision-making to aid the PLA in navigating the complexities of modern warfare while remaining under strict human oversight in accordance with the Communist Party’s control over the military.

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