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China scientists carry out ‘rule-breaking’ AI experiment in space

Chinese researchers say an artificial intelligence machine was given temporary full control of a satellite in near-Earth orbit, in a landmark experiment to test the technology’s behaviour in space.

For 24 hours the Qimingxing 1, a small Earth observation satellite, was directed by a ground-based AI, without any human order, assignment or intervention, according to a paper published in the journal Geomatics and Information Science of Wuhan University.

The research team, led by Wang Mi from the university’s State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, said the aim of the experiment was to see what the AI would do of its own accord.


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