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Former U.S.A.F. Software Head Says China Has Major AI Lead, Sparking Debate: In an interview with The Financial Times, the former chief software officer of the U.S. Air Force, Nicolas Chaillan, criticized the U.S. military’s R&D efforts and said the United States would “have no competing fighting chance in China in 15 to 20 years,” sparking a heated discussion about the U.S. military’s priorities and competitiveness. Chaillan — who resigned last month after nearly three years of government service, posting a resignation letter on LinkedIn that hit many of the same notes — told the FT that Pentagon bureaucracy and overregulation stifled innovation and kept costs too high. He also criticized companies like Google for their resistance to working with DOD and said concerns about ethics had delayed U.S. AI development. While Chaillan’s critiques earned a good deal of attention, they also generated significant pushback: the Army’s chief information officer, Raj Iyer, said Chaillan’s argument was “absolutely not true”; Tim Culpan wrote in Bloomberg that Beijing’s AI lead is overstated, with most of its advantages concentrated in the narrow (if concerning) field of population surveillance; and JAIC’s inaugural director, Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, offered a one-word response.
White House Officials Call for “Bill of Rights for an AI-Powered World”: Earlier this month, Biden administration officials from the Office of Science and Technology Policy announced they would be developing a “bill of rights” for AI. In an opinion piece published in Wired, two senior OSTP officials, Director Eric Lander and Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson, argued that in the face of powerful technologies that can lead to discrimination, invasions of privacy and manipulation, the United States should “clarify the rights and freedoms we expect data-driven technologies to respect.” As a first step in the process, OSTP issued a request for information about biometric technologies, including facial recognition, used to identify people or assess their emotional or mental states. While the Wired piece was relatively light on details about the final form and implementation of a “bill of rights,” Lander and Nelson wrote that possible enforcement mechanisms could include restrictions on federal and contractor use of non-compliant technologies and “laws and regulations to fill gaps.” Comments on the RFI will close on January 15, 2022.
CIA Creates New Tech Mission Center and CTO Role: Earlier this month, CIA Director William J. Burns announced the creation of both a chief technology officer position and a new technology-focused mission center. A press release from the agency, which also announced the creation of a China-focused mission center, said the Transnational and Technology Mission Center will “address global issues critical to US competitiveness — including new and emerging technologies, economic security, climate change, and global health.” While the announcement did not mention AI explicitly, a source told The New York Times that the new center will help track and counter the technologies — among them facial recognition and other forms of biometric surveillance — that have made traditional espionage much more difficult. As part of the agency’s effort to attract and retain talent, Burns also announced the creation of a “CIA Technology Fellows” program meant to bring outside experts into the agency for 1-2 year postings.
In Translation CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
PRC AI Ethical Guidelines:Ethical Norms for New Generation Artificial Intelligence Released. This document, issued by a state AI governance committee, lays out ethical norms for the use of AI in China. The norms cover areas such as the use and protection of personal information, human control over and responsibility for AI, and the avoidance of AI-related monopolies. The document does not specify how these norms are to be enforced, nor does it mention any punishments for those who violate the norms.
If you have a foreign-language document related to security and emerging technologies that you’d like translated into English, CSET may be able to help! Click here for details.
Please apply or share the roles below with candidates in your network:
Survey Research Analyst: CSET’s Survey Research Analyst will lead survey design and execution in collaboration with CSET analysts. They will work closely with data scientists, software engineers, a translation lead, and other data research analysts to produce, collect, and analyze original survey data. Strong applicants will have experience with survey design, online survey distribution platforms (e.g., Qualtrics), project management, and quantitative data analysis. Submit your application by December 1.
AI Research Subgrant (AIRS) Program Director: CSET’s AIRS program will promote the exploration of foundational technical topics that relate to the potential national security implications of AI over the long term via research subgrants. The Director of AIRS will manage all technical, programmatic, and financial aspects of the new AIRS program.
Research Fellow – Cyber/AI: CSET’s CyberAI project is currently seeking Research Fellow candidates to focus on machine learning (ML) applications for cybersecurity to assess their potential and identify recommendations for policymakers (background in ML programming or cybersecurity highly desired).
Senior Fellow: CSET’s Senior Fellows provide mentorship and intellectual leadership; shape and lead lines of inquiry and research projects aligned to our research priorities; and facilitate engagements with government, military, academic, and industry leaders.
Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the home institution for CSET, is hiring for a Professor of the Practice in Security Studies and Director of External Education and Outreach: This three-year, non-tenure-line faculty position in the Security Studies Program will have teaching administrative responsibilities. The candidate would teach four courses a year and oversee SSP’s external education and outreach activities. A Ph.D. with a specialization in a security-related area is preferred. The start date for this position is January 1, 2022, though flexibility on start date is possible.
Gracias Family Chair in Security and Emerging Technology: This non-tenure-track, rank-open position will have teaching and administrative responsibilities in the Security Studies Program, with potential for affiliations with CSET and the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program. The successful candidate will have a record of professional or teaching experience focused on security and emerging technology, with a particular focus on AI and its implications for national and international security.
Please visit CSET’s careers page to stay up to date on all active job postings.
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