Yes it does. However it is limited like the player based on technology and space on hulls. At normal difficulty it will not be able to keep up with a tech savy player that optimizes every last space.
If you have a standard ship that YOU optimized and it is only based on the tech tree say of Terran, the ai can and will copy that design and use it against you.
The Ai in GCII was scripted very well to do this quickly and it was refresshing to have to switch out weapons because the ai quickly changed blueprints and had ships that could keep up and match yours.
The ai in GCIII is data driven, on paper it SHOULD be as savy and quick as the ai in GCII, however it does not do it in a expedited manner.
From now until next year the ai will struggle with countering your blueprints. Once we get our 'expandalone' I believe Brad will have a hand in ai scripts which will bring us around to the ai quickly adapting to you and giving you hell.
One solution is to play at higher difficulties. Currently I am enjoying the next step up at Gifted but there are FAR better players than me that are bored with Godlike. I am pretty sure that next year will mark a significant change on how the ai engages the player in Combat and ship design.
PS: I have seen the ai use MY best designs against me mid to late game. Its a hoot to see my own blueprints against me!