Nvidia To Acquire Arm for $40B: On Sunday, U.S. GPU designer Nvidia announced plans to acquire U.K. chip company Arm from current owner SoftBank for $40 billion. Arm develops and licenses designs that are used to produce chips, including those inside most smartphones — an area where Nvidia is not currently a major player. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that together, the two companies will create the “leading computing company for the age of AI.” Nvidia will maintain Arm’s open-licensing model, letting Arm continue to serve customers around the world, though some authorities worry the deal would effectively place Arm under U.S. control amid U.S.-China tensions. Assuming regulatory approval, the purchase should take 18 months to complete; if finalized, it would be the largest-ever semiconductor deal.
Portland, OR Enacts Strictest Facial Recognition Ban in the US: The Portland City Council unanimously voted last Wednesday to ban both private and government use of facial recognition due to privacy concerns as well as gender and racial inaccuracies. The strictest ordinance of its kind in the nation to date, it prohibits companies from using the technology in any “place of public accommodation” where goods or services are offered. The prohibition goes into effect on January 1, 2021. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he hopes it encourages other cities to enact more stringent legislation as well.
- More: Portland Considering Strictest Ban on Facial Recognition Technology in the U.S. | NIST Facial Recognition Vendor Test Part 3: Demographic Effects
Machine Learning Spotlight — Standards For Clinical Trials Involving AI: A consortium of experts has proposed the first international standards for clinical trials involving AI. The guidelines were published simultaneously in leading medical journals BMJ, Nature Medicine and Lancet Digital Health after being developed with input from more than 150 authorities. The authors developed a list of 14 AI-specific additions to the standard journal protocols for reporting on clinical trials, including describing the type of algorithm, the training data and the data analysis process. AI is a “strong driver” of new medical interventions, the authors say, and they hope the standards will help editors and readers accurately appraise the quality of new interventions.
Esper Announces AI Partnership for Defense: The Joint AI Center will launch the AI Partnership for Defense this week in collaboration with allies, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said at the Defense Department’s AI Symposium and Exposition. Formed with at least 10 other nations’ militaries and defense departments, the partnership will focus on data sharing, ensuring interoperability of AI systems and incorporating ethics into the AI pipeline. Esper described the partnership as part of a democratic alternative to China and Russia’s authoritarian approach to AI. In the same talk, Esper highlighted two AI training programs for DOD staff and announced that a real-world dogfight between AI and human pilots will occur in 2024.
Groen Nomination To Be JAIC Director Clears Major Senate Hurdle: On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the nomination of Maj. Gen. Michael Groen to be Director of the Joint AI Center. He now awaits Senate confirmation. Groen has served in the Marine Corps for more than 30 years and is currently the deputy chief of computer network operations at the National Security Agency. If appointed, he would be promoted to lieutenant general, as the JAIC previously announced the position would be filled by a three-star general or flag officer.
Trump Administration Reportedly Considers Blacklisting SMIC: According to Reuters, the Trump administration is considering blacklisting Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation over concerns about its relationship with China’s military. SMIC said in a statement it was in “complete shock and perplexity” about the possible blacklisting, claiming it complies with all U.S. regulations and has no relationship with the Chinese military. If enacted, SMIC’s addition to the Entity List would require U.S. government approval of American suppliers shipping to the company. SMIC shares fell 23 percent on the news.
House Approves Bill Authorizing AI Center of Excellence: On a Monday voice vote, the House passed legislation codifying an AI Center of Excellence within the General Services Administration. The AI in Government Act of 2020, introduced by Rep. McNerney and then-Rep. Meadows, tasks the Center of Excellence with improving “cohesion and competency” of government AI use, convening stakeholders to discuss trends in AI and publishing relevant information online. The Center is also intended to provide agencies with advice on acquisition and use of AI and advise the Director of the Office of Management and Budget on developing policies related to the use of AI. The Senate companion bill was approved by committee but has not yet received a floor vote.
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
AI Engineer and Technician Employment Prospects: A New Occupation — An Analytical Report on Current Employment Prospects for AI Engineers and Technicians. This government report analyzes the AI industry in China. It finds that demand for AI professionals continues to exceed supply and that the U.S. job market attracts the majority of highly qualified Chinese AI researchers.
Technical Domains for Made in China 2025: Roadmap of Major Technical Domains for Made in China 2025. A partial translation of a 2015 roadmap for the Made in China 2025 strategy, this section focuses on China’s IT industry, including specific targets for the country to meet by 2025 in the semiconductor, telecom, software and intelligent manufacturing equipment industries. The goals are intended to improve China’s self-sufficiency in these strategic technologies.
Policies To Promote Circuit and Software Industries: State Council Notice on the Publication of Certain Policies To Promote the High-Quality Development of the Integrated Circuit Industry and the Software Industry in the New Period. This is a list of policies that the Chinese government has enacted to spur the growth of the integrated circuit and software industries. The policies provide tax breaks to companies in these industries and encourage investment.
What We’re Reading
Report: China’s Artificial Intelligence Technology Industry Development Under New Challenges and Opportunities, China’s New Generation Artificial Intelligence Technology Industry Development Report (June 2020)
Report: Brain-Computer Interfaces: U.S. Military Applications and Implications, An Initial Assessment, RAND (August 2020)
Commentary: Deepfakes Are Coming for American Democracy. Here’s How We Can Prepare, Clint Watts and Tim Hwang (September 2020)
Report: Facial Recognition: CBP and TSA are Taking Steps To Implement Programs, but CBP Should Address Privacy and System Performance Issues, United States Government Accountability Office (September 2020)
What’s New at CSET
- Patents and Artificial Intelligence by Patrick Thomas and Dewey Murdick
- Immigration Pathways and Plans of AI Talent by Catherine Aiken, James Dunham and Remco Zwetsloot
- China’s System of Oppression in Xinjiang: How It Developed and How To Curb It co-authored by Dahlia Peterson
- Issues in Science and Technology: How To Lead Innovation in a Changed World co-authored by Melissa Flagg
- Yale University Press Blog: Mapping America’s Recovery by Andrew Imbrie
- PLOS ONE: A Novel Approach to Predicting Exceptional Growth in Research co-authored by Dewey Murdick
- CSET: CSET Experts in the News by Alexandra Vreeman
CSET has launched a crowd forecasting platform. Sign up as a forecaster, and take a look at some of the predictions so far:
- (New) Will the United States add SMIC to the Entity List by October 14, 2020?
- Will the Chinese People’s Liberation Army invade Taiwan by May 31, 2021? Current crowd forecast says 6 percent chance.
- What percentage of U.S. news articles about facial recognition will have a negative framing between July 1 and September 30? Crowd’s current point estimate is 55 percent.
- CSET hosted a book launch featuring Andrew Imbrie’s Power on the Precipice, moderated by Avril Haines.
- Jason Matheny testified before the House Committee on the Budget in a hearing, Machines, Artificial Intelligence, & the Workforce: Recovering & Readying Our Economy for the Future.
- The Washington Post: Jason Matheny spoke about the trajectory of U.S. relations with China in a column exploring U.S.-China tech decoupling.
- VentureBeat: Jason Matheny’s congressional testimony on AI and the workforce was quoted in a news story on the House Budget Committee hearing.
- San Jose Spotlight: Jason Matheny’s testimony to the House Budget Committee was quoted in an article about the hearing.
- The Washington Post: Anna Puglisi spoke about Chinese open-source information collection in an article on a Chinese firm’s harvesting of prominent Americans’ social media posts.
- Voice of America: Ryan Fedasiuk discussed his report on the China Scholarship Council on VOA’s Mandarin Service and in an article on U.S. restrictions on Chinese students.
- Chronicle of Higher Education: CSET research on how Canada draws talent from the United States was cited in a piece on government investigations of colleges’ foreign ties.
- September 17: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, An Allied Approach to Semiconductor Sector Competitiveness
- September 17: George Washington University, What Can the US Government Do To Encourage AI Competitiveness?
- September 18: CSET, Foretell Forecasting Forum
- September 18: AFCEA and INSA, 2020 Intelligence and National Security Summit featuring Margarita Konaev
- September 29: Stanford, Hoover Institution and Human Rights Foundation, The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism: China, AI and Human Rights
- October 6: CSET & WestExec Advisors, Building Trust Through Testing: Adapting DOD’s TEVV Enterprise for Machine Learning Systems, Including Deep Learning Systems
- October 19: CSET, Using Crowd Forecasting to Inform Policy, with Jason Matheny
What else is going on? Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.