Reports

A National Security Research Agenda for Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (May 2020)

By Ben Buchanan

Advances in machine learning are transforming cyber strategy and operations, presenting policymakers with a host of opportunities and challenges. Ben Buchanan, CSET Senior Faculty Fellow and Director of CyberAI, outlines a research agenda for studying national security issues at the intersection of AI and cybersecurity, including changes in offensive and defensive cyber operations, the cybersecurity of AI systems themselves, and the effect that new technologies will have on global stability. 

Antitrust and Artificial Intelligence: How Breaking Up Big Tech Could Affect the Pentagon’s Access to AI (May 2020)

By Dakota Foster and Zachary Arnold

While AI innovation would presumably continue in some form without Big Tech, the authors find that breaking up the largest technology companies could fundamentally change the broader AI innovation ecosystem, likely affecting the development of AI applications for national security.

Trends in U.S. Intention-to-Stay Rates of International Ph.D. Graduates Across Nationality and STEM Fields (April 2020)

By Remco Zwetsloot, Jacob Feldgoise and James Dunham

Policymakers continue to debate the ability of the United States to attract and retain top international talent. This Issue Brief assesses how many international Ph.D. graduates across various STEM fields and nationalities intend to stay in the United States after completing their degrees. Previous studies indicate that intention-to-stay rates correlate strongly with actual stay rates.

Untangling the Web: Why the U.S. Needs Allies to Defend Against Chinese Technology Transfer (April 2020)

By Andrew Imbrie and Ryan Fedasiuk

The United States and its allies must develop targeted and coordinated policies to respond to unwanted Chinese technology transfer, as part of a broader agenda of technology alliance cooperation. Imbrie and Fedasiuk recommend that the United States and allies gather more data, raise greater awareness of the variety of vehicles China uses for technology transfer, and coordinate investment screening procedures. This paper is part of the Brookings Institution’s Global China project.

Maintaining China’s Dependence on Democracies for Advanced Computer Chips (April 2020)

By Saif M. Khan and Carrick Flynn

China seeks to develop an indigenous semiconductor industry. It is in the strategic interest of the United States and democratic friends for China to remain reliant on them for state-of-the-art computer chips, especially as Beijing invests heavily to produce advanced chips that could threaten the United States and its allies and violate human rights through techno-authoritarian surveillance. Over the long term, export controls would shift a significant portion of China’s lost chip fabrication capacity to democratic countries. This paper is part of the Brookings Institution’s Global China project.

China’s Approach to Tech Talent Competition: Policies, Results, and the Developing Global Response (April 2020)

By Remco Zwetsloot

China’s strategy to grow its science and technology talent includes: 1) improving domestic education; 2) attracting overseas Chinese talent; and 3) attracting foreign talent. While China’s commitment to domestic education reform has achieved remarkable results—science and engineering degrees granted by Chinese universities more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2015—there remain significant challenges associated with instructional quality and employment opportunities for many graduates. This paper is part of the Brookings Institution’s Global China project.
Why AI Chips Matter Cover

Why AI Chips Matter (April 2020)

By Saif M. Khan

As artificial intelligence is applied to new and more complex tasks, the computational power necessary to develop and deploy it will become increasingly expensive. Specially designed AI chips achieve the combination of performance and cost-effectiveness needed for such applications. This policy brief offers a concise overview of the full report, “AI Chips: What They Are and Why They Matter.”
AI Chips Report

AI Chips: What They Are and Why They Matter (April 2020)

By Saif M. Khan and Alexander Mann

The success of modern AI techniques relies on computation on a scale unimaginable even a few years ago. What exactly are the AI chips powering the development and deployment of AI at scale and why are they essential? Saif M. Khan and Alexander Mann explain how these chips work, why they have proliferated, and why they matter. Their report also surveys trends in the semiconductor industry and chip design that are shaping the evolution of AI chips.

Recommendations on Export Controls for Artificial Intelligence (Feb 2020)

By Carrick Flynn

The U.S. government has started paying closer attention to the export of AI-relevant technologies. But what restrictions would help further aims such as stability and human rights abroad without impeding U.S. research and development? This issue brief assesses where such controls will be effective, ineffective or even damaging to the interests of the United States and its allies. 

Agile Alliances: How the United States and Its Allies Can Deliver a Democratic Way of AI (Feb 2020)

By Andrew Imbrie, Ryan Fedasiuk, Catherine Aiken, Tarun Chhabra and Husanjot Chahal

The United States must collaborate with its allies and partners to shape the trajectory of artificial intelligence, promote liberal democratic values and protect against efforts to wield AI for authoritarian ends. CSET proposes a three-pronged strategy of 10 initiatives to pursue in concert with U.S. allies and partners.

The Question of Comparative Advantage in Artificial Intelligence (Jan 2020)

By Andrew Imbrie, Elsa B. Kania and Lorand Laskai

How do we measure leadership in artificial intelligence, and where does the United States rank? What comparative advantages matter most? As nations embrace AI, answering these questions becomes increasingly critical. This policy brief examines potential AI strengths of the United States and China and prescribes recommendations to ensure the United States does not fall behind. 

AI Safety, Security, and Stability Among Great Powers: Options, Challenges, and Lessons Learned for Pragmatic Engagement (Dec 2019)

By Andrew Imbrie and Elsa B. Kania

Among great powers, artificial intelligence has become a new focus of competition due to its potential to transform the character of conflict, disrupt the military balance and undermine deterrence. This policy brief considers alternative paths toward AI safety and security, proposing feasible steps for the United States, China, Russia and others to take.

Keeping Top AI Talent in the United States (Dec 2019)

By Remco Zwetsloot, James Dunham, Zachary Arnold and Tina Huang

Talent is core to U.S. competitiveness in artificial intelligence, and international graduate students are a large source of AI talent for the United States. Retaining them in this country as they transition into the workforce is key. Graduate student retention has historically been a core U.S. strength, but that strength is endangered by recent events.

Maintaining the AI Chip Competitive Advantage of the United States and its Allies (Dec 2019)

by Saif M. Khan

The United States and its allies enjoy a competitive advantage in the production of artificial intelligence chips necessary for leading AI research and implementation. This memo identifies chokepoints for limiting China’s access to key chipmaking equipment.

Chinese Public AI R&D Spending: Provisional Findings (Dec 2019)

by Ashwin Acharya and Zachary Arnold

China aims to become “the world’s primary AI innovation center” by 2030. Toward that end, the Chinese government is spending heavily on AI research and development (R&D) – but perhaps not as heavily as some have thought. This memo provides a provisional, open-source estimate of China’s spending.

AI Workforce Report Cover

Strengthening the U.S. AI Workforce (Sept 2019)

by Remco Zwetsloot, Roxanne Heston and Zachary Arnold

A sustained talent shortage could undermine U.S. strength in artificial intelligence; current immigration policies would make it worse. Read our recommendations for bolstering U.S. leadership in AI research and practice. 

Immigration Policy and the US AI Sector

Immigration Policy and the U.S. AI Sector (Sept 2019)

by Zachary Arnold, Roxanne Heston, Remco Zwetsloot and Tina Huang

As the artificial intelligence field becomes more developed globally, the United States will continue to rely on foreign AI talent to stay ahead of the curve. Here are our preliminary recommendations to maintain current U.S. leadership, bolster the domestic AI workforce and improve the outlook for the future.

China's Access to Foreign AI Technology

China’s Access to Foreign AI Technology (Sept 2019)

by William C. Hannas and Huey-meei Chang

China is broadening its deeply rooted technology transfer practices to include artificial intelligence. As these efforts bear fruit, we discuss how the United States can and should respond.