ICE Rescinds Foreign Student Rule After Lawsuits: Facing broad opposition and legal action, the Department of Homeland Security dropped a policy banning online-only foreign students from staying in the country. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued DHS; 200 colleges and universities signed a brief supporting the challenge. Google, Facebook and Microsoft also joined the lawsuit, arguing the directive would disrupt their recruitment efforts. Additionally, 17 states and the District of Columbia sued to overturn the ban. The Trump administration rescinded the rule and returned to earlier guidance, which lifted restrictions concerning online education during the pandemic.
- More: The US Is Turning Away the World’s Best Minds — and This Time, They May Not Come Back | Harvard v. DHS Tech Industry Amicus Brief
- More: 160k+ High School Students Will Only Graduate If a Statistical Model Allows Them To | AI Is Sending People to Jail — and Getting It Wrong
House Appropriations Bills Include Funding for AI: The House Appropriations Committee approved all FY2021 appropriations bills, with several AI provisions. The Defense bill provides an additional $20 million for the Army AI Innovation Institute, $15 million for the Trusted and Assured Microelectronics program and $10 million for machine learning electronic warfare research above the budget request; however, $45 million was cut from the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Reps. Rush and Tlaib wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy requesting that appropriations bills prohibit spending federal funds on facial recognition software; the letter has 28 signatories. The House begins considering the bills this week. The Senate has not yet considered any FY2021 appropriations bills.
JAIC Prioritizing Warfighting Mission, Testing First Lethal Project: The DOD’s Joint AI Center is spending more on its Joint Warfighting Mission than all other missions combined, Acting Director of the JAIC Nand Mulchandani said in his first press conference since assuming leadership in June. This focus marks a shift away from the JAIC’s five other priorities, including humanitarian efforts and warfighter health. Mulchandani outlined two warfighting projects: one provides “cognitive assistance” by using natural language processing, the other links data across land, sea, air and cyber domains. The JAIC is also testing its first lethal AI project, described as the warfighting mission’s “flagship product,” although Mulchandani clarified the lethal product is not fully autonomous.
PCAST Recommends Increasing AI Funding to $10B: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology published their recommendations for strengthening U.S. leadership in Industries of the Future, including quantum, biotechnology and AI. The council suggested increasing non-defense AI funding ten-fold to $10 billion by 2030, leveraging partnerships with academia and industry and developing institutes to support collaboration between cutting-edge industries. PCAST also advocated for bolstering the workforce through attracting and retaining foreign and domestic STEM talent, creating new certifications and launching retraining initiatives for non-STEM workers.
Bill to Establish Presidential Advisory Committee on AI Introduced: Congressional AI Caucus co-chairs Reps. Olson and McNerney introduced legislation on July 9 establishing a presidential advisory committee on AI. The bipartisan FUTURE of AI Act requires the U.S. Chief Technology Officer to create a group to study questions and advise the CTO on a range of matters relating to AI. The committee would consist of 19 voting members from academia, industry, civil society and labor organizations, as well as non-voting members from the government.
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
Thousand Talents Program High-Level Foreign Expert Project: Detailed Rules for the “Thousand Talents Program” High-Level Foreign Expert Project. This 2011 notice provides details on China’s “Thousand Talents Program,” specifically the program’s procedures for recruiting and retaining non-Chinese foreign experts who can contribute to China’s S&T base.
State Scholarship for Self-Financed Study Abroad: Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the 2016 “State Scholarship for Outstanding Self-Financed Study Abroad Students.” This 2016 document outlines a Chinese scholarship program for “self-financed” students studying abroad. The scholarship provides up to $16,000 for a year of overseas study for PhD candidates under the age of 40. For more on Chinese government scholarships, see The China Scholarship Council: An Overview.
What We’re Reading
Report: Reports of a Silicon Valley / Military Divide Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Jack Poulson (July 2020)
Report: Sharpening the U.S. Military’s Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration, Michèle Flournoy and Gabrielle Chefitz, CNAS (July 2020)
Working Paper: Tech Clusters, The National Bureau of Economic Research (June 2020)
What’s New at CSET
- Canada’s Immigration System Increasingly Draws Talent from the United States by Zachary Arnold
- The China Scholarship Council: An Overview by Ryan Fedasiuk
- Overseas Professionals and Technology Transfer to China by Ryan Fedasiuk and Emily Weinstein
- MIT Technology Review: The US Is Turning Away the World’s Best Minds — and This Time, They May Not Come Back by Zachary Arnold and Tina Huang
- The Intelligence National Security Alliance: Women in the Intelligence Community: A Discussion With Sue Gordon and Stephanie O’Sullivan by Tessa Baker
CSET is launching a crowd forecasting platform to forecast the future of technology-security policy. Sign up as a forecaster, and take a look at some of the predictions so far:
- Will either China or the United States withdraw from their January 2020 trade truce by August 31, 2020? Current crowd forecast says 29 percent likelihood.
- How many postings for U.S. jobs requiring machine learning skills will be published between July 1 and September 30, 2020? Current crowd forecast says between 35,000 and 50,000 is most likely (43 percent likelihood).
- (New) Will any private messages obtained in the July 15, 2020 Twitter hack be leaked to the public by November 2, 2020?
CSET is hiring! We’re looking to fill the following role:
- External Affairs Specialist: Support communications strategy, assist with events and edit CSET publications. BA in relevant field and 4–6 years of relevant work experience required.
- NBC: An article on reactions to the U.S. visa ban of some Chinese students and researchers cited Emily Weinstein and Dahlia Peterson’s brief on reactions to the policy.
- Axios: Zachary Arnold’s research on the Canadian immigration system was featured in a segment of Axios Future about Canada poaching U.S. tech talent.
- The Atlantic: An article on how America’s innovation engine may be slowing referenced CSET research on immigration policies and retaining top AI talent.
- Enterprise AI: An article on the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Ad Hoc Expert Group on AI ethics mentioned Tim Hwang, one of the members of the panel.
- Army Mad Scientist: CSET participated in a panel on AI and disinformation; the full video is available on Youtube.
- August 4: CSET, Foretell Forecasting Forum featuring Michael Page
- August 18: NIST, Bias in AI Workshop
What else is going on? Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.