China's new fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) could reportedly find use as an autonomous, ship-launched defence against submarines. And, according to a paper published in the journal Advanced Materials Research, the UAV's will use genetic algorithms to spot the subs faster.
A genetic algorithm is one that works much like natural evolution. It narrows down search results, weeding out the weaker, off-topic responses, and recombining the "stronger" returned values into a better hybridised result. In the case of the Chinese UAV's, this result is a more efficient search pattern. And, by taking factors such as fuel economy, air and sea-based threats, and information from deployed sonar buoys, the UAV's can rapidly home in on enemy subs.
Given the US's renewed interest in the Pacific theatre as well as renewed tensions with Taiwan, it does seem a bit odd that the PRC is letting everyone see its cards, so to speak. Then again, China also published a paper on how to hack US cyber-structures and its electricity grid back in 2010, then proceeded to do so with the American intelligence community apparently powerless to stop it. [New Scientist via PopSci]