In the News

September 14, 2019: Axios, “The U.S.’s handicap in the AI talent race.” Remco Zwetsloot, Research Fellow at CSET, spoke with Axios about how immigration restrictions could hurt the U.S. advantage in AI. “Tightening immigration policies is inconsistent with wanting to lead in AI,” said Zwetsloot.

September 11, 2019: C4ISRNET, “The 3 major security threats to AI.” Less than one percent of AI research and development funding is going towards security, said Jason Matheny, Found Director of CSET. He argues that more money needs to go into AI systems to protect them from three major types of attacks: adversarial examples, trojans and model inversion. 

September 9, 2019: China Digital Times, “Sharper Eyes: Surveilling the Surveillers.” Dahlia Peterson, Research Analyst at CSET, and co-author Josh Rudolph explore the history, impact, and vulnerabilities of Chinese surveillance program Sharp Eyes.

September 3, 2019: Defense One, “Welcome to the New Phase of US-China Tech Competition.” Lorand Laskai, Visiting Researcher at CSET, and co-author Ashley Feng of the Center for a New American Security explore how U.S.-China economic and technological decoupling are taking place in a number of ways. 

August 6, 2019: Coda, “Western academia helps build China’s automated racism.” Lorand Laskai, Visiting Researcher at CSET, says that the security of the collective may be valued over the rights of the individual when it comes to China’s approach to AI ethics.

August 2, 2019: C4ISRNET, “National Security Commission sets dates for its big AI report.” Jason Matheny, Founding Director at CSET, is mentioned as the leader of one of four working groups set out by the AI Commission, focused on “international competitiveness and cooperation in AI.”

August 1, 2019: War on the Rocks,Artificial Intelligence meets bureaucratic politics.” Andrew Imbrie, Senior Fellow at CSET writes that “the integration of new technologies depends on something more fundamental: bureaucratic politics.” He looks at the ways in which bureaucratic politics will impact the U.S.’s adoption of AI, and what the challenges and enablers of adoptions of AI implementation may look like in China.

July 31, 2019: War on the Rocks,Russian AI-enabled combat: Coming to a city near you?” Rita Konaev, Research Fellow at CSET writes with Samuel Bendett that “when it comes to military applications of artificial intelligence, overlooking Russia is a mistake.” In this article, they analyze Russia’s current and potential future technological advances in autonomous systems and information warfare.

July 10, 2019: South China Morning Post,Chinese maker of drones wins US clearance for new high-security models.” Lorand Laskai, Visiting Researcher at CSET says the developments with China’s DJI Technologies show that “despite the hand-wringing over US-China tech decoupling, workable solutions to data security concerns are possible … the real question is whether these arrangements will be able to withstand the growing distrust between the United States and China.”

July 7, 2019: The New York Times, “As New Zealand Fights Online Hate, the Internet’s Darkest Corners Resist.” “The internet is a very complex and rough environment, and governments, especially small governments, don’t have as many cards as they would like to play,” said CSET Senior Faculty Fellow Ben Buchanan, a cybersecurity expert who teaches at Georgetown University.

June 27, 2019: FedScoop, “Key to AI development is investing in the right things, former IARPA director says.” “Our ability to attract and retain the world’s best and brightest computer scientists and electrical engineers is something we have greatly benefited from,” said Jason Matheny, Director of CSET, as well as “our ability to maintain friendships with other countries.”

June 25, 2019: Nextgov, “Artificial Intelligence is Too Dumb to Fully Police Online Extremism, Experts Say.” CSET’s Ben Buchanan was one of several witnesses who testified in front of the House Homeland Security Committee subpanel on the possibilities and limitations of AI and counterterrorism. He described the “substantial limitations” facing machine-learning content moderators today. 

June 20, 2019: National Security Podcast, “Battlefield Singularity, AI pixie dust, and the future of war.” “There is a level of hype and exuberance in conversations about artificial intelligence, particularly in China and the United States today, that may be exaggerated relative to the actual capabilities and limitations of AI today,” said CSET’s Elsa Kania. 

June 19, 2019: Foreign Affairs, “Why Blacklisting Huawei Could Backfire,” CSET’s Lorand Laskai explains in Foreign Affairs how U.S. restrictions on Chinese technology, including the products of Huawei, could wind up spurring on China’s efforts at self-reliance in innovation.

June 10, 2019:  C4ISRNET, “Will China win the military AI race on the back of commercial technology? “We can think of AI as next wave of software improvements,” suggested Helen Toner, Director of Strategy at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology. Without a clear inflection point for when AI transitions from capable software to a unique capability, many of the changes will in nature and implementation resemble software upgrades.

June 8, 2019: The Straits-Times, “With China in rear-view mirror, US lawmakers worry about maintaining lead in AI.” Thanks to testimony by CSET experts, the June 7 USCC hearing prompted considerable discussion of the relative advantages of China and the United States in developing their AI capabilities.

June 7, 2019: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing on “Technology, Trade, and Military-Civil Fusion: China’s Pursuit of Artificial Intelligence, New Materials, and New Energy.” CSET’s Helen Toner, Jeff Ding, and Elsa Kania testified as part of Panel 1: U.S.-China Competition in Artificial Intelligence: Policy, Industry, and Strategy

May 24, 2019: NBC News, “U.S. and China tech have played nice for decades. Now, a fork in the road.” “We should be clear-eyed about what is going on in China, especially with regard to human rights abuses, but we should not be hysterical about the level of security threat that China poses,” said Helen Toner, director of strategy at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology. “If the U.S. can act wisely and place its values front and center, it’s likely we can reach a new equilibrium that serves our interests,” Toner said. “Fear and hype tend to damage the U.S. rather than serve it.”

May 14, 2019: NPR, “Stopping Key Tech Exports To China Could Backfire, Researchers And Firms Say.” Last year, the Commerce Department proposed categories of “emerging technology” for export controls. “The problem is that these categories are exceptionally broad, denoting large buckets of technologies that are often layered into a diverse set of applications, most with no relevance to national security,” says CSET’s Lorand Laskai.

April 25, 2019:  Financial Times, “US export controls are no guarantee against China’s AI advantage.” “The US is exceptional in being a country where the best and brightest from all around the globe really want to come here and work and research here and contribute their talents to US companies and US labs,” said CSET’s Helen Toner. “Supporting that will help the US retain its advantage over the longer term.”

February 28, 2019: Washington Post, “Georgetown launches think tank on security and emerging technology.” “AI and other emerging technologies will deliver profound benefits to society, but they will also introduce new risks,” said CSET’s founding director, Jason Matheny. “Technologists don’t always consider the details of policy, and policymakers don’t always consider the details of technology.”