Washington, DC — China’s technology transfer programs are broad, deeply rooted and calculated to support the country’s development of artificial intelligence, providing China early insight and access to foreign technical innovations, a research team at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), a new think tank, has found.
In a report released today, “China’s Access to Foreign AI Technology,” they note that while China uses illegal means to support these programs, it also uses legal and extralegal means, which can range from the purchase of technologies and joint Sino-U.S. research agreements to co-opting skilled foreign nationals. Further, they note that many — possibly most — of these transfers are unmonitored and unknown outside China.
The report recommends that the U.S. government protect against unwanted technology transfers in ways that are consistent with nationally-held values and legitimate security concerns. It proposes five policy options:
Expand U.S. government data collection and analysis of AI-related transfers.
- Define general standards for evaluating transfers.
- Educate the technology sector on U.S. concerns and expectations.
- Promote immigration of AI skilled persons.
- Expand the U.S. science and technology base.
“China’s Access to Foreign AI Technology” is available online and will be discussed at the upcoming Kalaris Intelligence Conference, which is being co-hosted this year by CSET and Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies.
Established in January 2019 at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, CSET studies the security impacts of emerging technologies, supports academic work in security and technology studies, and delivers nonpartisan analysis to the policy community. CSET aims to prepare a generation of policymakers, analysts and diplomats to address the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies. During its first two years, CSET is focusing on the effects of progress in artificial intelligence and advanced computing.