With the arrival of spring, CSET also is blossoming, with our experts quoted in media on topics as diverse as China’s surveillance systems, trust in human-machine relationships and vulnerabilities in artificial intelligence. Here’s a look at what they’ve been up to this month:
National Defense Magazine
National Defense Magazine references CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn’s publication “Hacking AI: A Primer for Policymakers on Machine Learning Cybersecurity” to discuss the vulnerabilities and risk associated with using AI and machine learning on the battlefield. “The United States is not the only country fielding AI systems, and the opportunity to exploit these vulnerabilities in adversaries’ systems may be tempting,” according to Lohn. “There are obvious military benefits of causing an enemy weapon to misidentify its targets or send an adversary’s autonomous vehicles off course. There are also the obvious intelligence benefits of stealing adversaries’ models and learning about the data they have used.”
Technological advancements are pushing for the integration of artificial intelligence into military missions, but a lack of trust in human-machine relationships can delay development. FedScoop reached out to CSET Research Fellow Margarita Konaev, author of “U.S. Military investments in Autonomy and AI: Costs, Benefits, and Strategic Effects” to discuss trust in human-machine relationships in the military context. “If the person doesn’t trust the system that is providing recommendations, then we are losing a lot of money that went into developing these technologies,” said Konaev in an interview with FedScoop.
In the technological competition with China, the United States remains firmly ahead in semiconductor manufacturing despite outsourcing production overseas. National Journal interviewed CSET researcher Will Hunt to get his thoughts on Congress’ actions to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to U.S. shores. “Congress understands that China has spent tens of billions of dollars on building up its domestic capacity,” said Hunt. “And I think Congress increasingly understands that U.S. domestic wafer capacity, which is a way of measuring how many chips we can manufacture, has gone down quite dramatically over the last 30 years.”
China Talk Podcast
CSET Research Fellow Anna Puglisi and Research Analyst Ryan Fedasiuk joined the China Talk Podcast to discuss their contributions to the recent book “China’s Quest for Foreign Technology Beyond Espionage” and China’s foreign technology acquisition. Is it nefarious, or just typical behavior of a world power on the rise? Is the myth of a stateless global society dead? And why does such a pressing issue seem invisible in the United States and Europe? The book was co-edited by CSET Analyst William Hannas, and includes contributions by CSET’s Huey-Meei Chang and Dahlia Peterson.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) released its final report, which was two years in the making. It offered recommendations to advance AI integration into national security, citing 21 CSET publications to support its conclusions. Drawing from a CSET report by Remco Zwetsloot, this Forbes article focused on the importance of attracting and retaining international talent if the United States wants to maintain its technological competitiveness with China.
South China Morning Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping once viewed the internet as a liability to advancing the PRC’s narrative, but it has come to be relied upon to amplify Chinese power. CSET Research Analyst Ryan Fedasiuk spoke with the Hong Kong outlet South China Morning Post on China’s new internet strategy as a tool to suit the PRC’s needs. This includes surveilling content to monitor rumors, promote Chinese propaganda and influence overseas public opinion. Fedasiuk notes that the PRC’s use of the internet is “at odds with global norms around internet freedom and the free flow of information.”
The Chinese government’s use of mass surveillance to monitor and track its citizens is Orwellian. An expert in China’s surveillance programs, CSET Research Analyst Dahlia Peterson spoke with British newspaper The Sun to discuss Beijing’s plans to create a surveillance system designed to read people’s emotions and track their “social credit” scores. “Domestically, the most frightening part is that many people inside China remain unaware of the true scope of surveillance, and still welcome it as a source of ‘security,’” Peterson said. Her recent CSET report analyzes ways to keep such surveillance systems from being replicated elsewhere. In One Zero, Peterson examines the Sharp Eyes surveillance system, designed to have 100 percent coverage and encourage citizens to monitor one another.
American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics highlighted CSET Founding Director Jason Matheny’s new appointment with the Biden administration as the Deputy Director for National Security at the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Coordinator for Technology and National Security at the National Security Council. Since CSET’s founding in 2019, Matheny has “built CSET into a major player in the field of emerging technology and national security policy, recruiting an incredible roster of researchers and fellows and producing influential papers that are shaping the policy dialogue,” as described by Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service Dean Joel Hellman in a FedScoop article. While Matheny will be missed, his work will contribute to the Biden administration’s mission to prioritize emerging technology and national security. CSET Director of Data Science Dewey Murdick is serving as Interim Director.