Dear Friends of CSET,
I am thrilled to report that 2022 was full of successes and organizational growth; it was a pivotal year for CSET.
In the past year, we continued to proactively inform public policy and action at the intersection of security and emerging technology. Some of the highlights from 2022 include:
- In January, the Biden Administration expanded eligibility for optional practical training (OPT) and the criteria for O-1 visa eligibility. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also received authorization to grant national interest waivers for talent in key technology fields. CSET first made these and other analytic recommendations in 2019 and 2020.
- In August, the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act was a major milestone in CSET’s four-year analytic effort to highlight the national security and economic importance of semiconductor and manufacturing equipment supply chains.
- In October, we highlighted the need for greater consistency between information and communication technology (ICT) acquisition regulations at the federal, state and local level. The FCC cited this report when banning new sales of these systems. CSET also briefed dozens of policymakers at the federal and state levels as well as around the world, which may result in additional legislative and executive action.
- CSET actively contributed to export control discussions throughout the year. In May, this included a proposal for an updated multilateral export control regime that takes lessons from the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In July, we shared historical lessons from previous unilateral decoupling efforts in the satellite industry that had harmed U.S. competitiveness. This historical analysis became part of ongoing discussions after the October announcement of expansion of computing and semiconductor export controls.
- Our team of researchers produced a series of webinars and reports forecasting potential misuses of generative language models for disinformation campaigns, providing a new look at China’s AI workforce, examining U.S. outbound investment into Chinese AI companies, and analyzing Chinese AI investment in Southeast Asia, among other subjects.
- CSET experts informed congressional thinking on emerging tech and security topics, including through testimony before the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, the House Homeland Security and Science Committees, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, where their research-based observations — together with some of CSET’s original Chinese-to-English translation work — were later cited in the Commission’s annual report to Congress.
Last year, we updated our analytic team structure around a number of lines of research, while launching the Emerging Technology Observatory and our Foundational Research Grants program. We created this new structure to help build CSET into a sustainable and more manageable organization. New lines of research extend our unique, evidence-driven policy analysis approach to vital areas in the national interest. We launched these new efforts while advancing our existing work on AI, cybersecurity, and biotechnology, along with continuing core data and translation investments. This work covered pressing topics on a variety of issues such as maintaining U.S. competitiveness in semiconductor manufacturing and AI talent development, mapping Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) facilities around the globe, and understanding how advances in and adoption of AI might alter the cybersecurity landscape.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our talented researchers, the team members who support this work, and our many partners. In 2022, our team gained 21 new staff members. Four of our researchers started one-year fellowships to work within the government, providing agencies such as State, Defense, and Commerce with their expertise and gaining opportunities for on-the-job exposure to public service. Six other team members advanced into new, more senior roles. We are deeply grateful for our staff’s contributions and the role they play in advancing our mission.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2023 and beyond, we are more committed than ever to our vision for rigorous analysis that can be used by busy decision makers. This year, I am looking forward to continuing our investigation of global trends in AI and cyber, building out our analysis of bio-risk policy issues, deepening our commitment to professional development, and engaging with communities that are under-represented in the national security space.
We are grateful to our funders and to the policymakers, decision makers, and thought leaders who have taken the time to read our research and share their feedback. We invite you to join us in this important work by supporting CSET in whatever way you can. Whether through a donation, volunteering your time as a reviewer, or spreading the word about our work to your community — your contributions make a real difference. Thank you for your ongoing support of CSET. Together, we can build a future that is safe, secure, and beneficial for all.
Center for Security and Emerging Technology