China Explores Antitrust Probe Into Google: China is considering launching an antitrust investigation into Google, Reuters reports. The probe, which Huawei first proposed last year, would reportedly make the case that Google used its Android operating system to stifle competition. Sources report the decision about whether or not to launch an investigation could be made this month. The news comes amid rising U.S.-China tensions, as well as a pending U.S. antitrust case against Google. On October 6, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law released a report saying Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have “exploited their power of the marketplace;” the committee’s majority staff recommends breaking up the companies.
- More: Antitrust and Artificial Intelligence: How Breaking up Big Tech Could Affect the Pentagon’s Access To AI | Congress Made a Lousy Case for Breaking Up Big Tech
- More: New Zealand Claims World First in Setting Standards for Government Use of Algorithms | Helsinki Registry | Amsterdam Registry
Trump Administration Restricts H-1B Visas: The Departments of Labor and Homeland Security announced changes to the H-1B visa that they estimate would exclude a third of current recipients. The modifications would narrow the list of qualifying occupations for the H-1B visa, tighten degree requirements and shorten the visa length for certain positions. In addition, changes enacted last Thursday significantly raise the salary level required for visa recipients. In June, the Trump administration temporarily suspended H-1B visa processing, but the ban was blocked on October 1. The latest revisions would allow longer-lasting changes to the visa program, but will be challenged in court. In September, the Trump administration published a rule change capping the length of student visas; experts say the rule could discourage foreign students from enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities.
DOD Releases New Data Strategy: On Thursday, the Department of Defense released a new data strategy to help the DOD become a “data-centric organization.” The document argues data should be treated as on par with weapon systems and outlines eight guiding principles for data efforts, including one focused on the importance of data for AI training. It says this data, alongside algorithmic models, will increasingly become the Pentagon’s “most valuable digital asset” and emphasizes the importance of increasing DOD-wide awareness of training datasets and algorithms, as well as protecting them from competitors.
Bill Tightening Export Controls for Key Technologies Introduced: House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member McCaul introduced legislation strengthening export controls for critical technologies, including semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The bill requires the president to develop a strategy for collaborating with U.S. allies to develop unified export control policies. More specifically, these policies are meant to reduce the availability of certain technologies to arms-embargoed countries. At the same time, the legislation requires a working group to coordinate with allies to secure the global semiconductor supply chain. It also establishes a $2 billion fund to support joint R&D projects and capacity building in critical technologies with allies.
State Department Releases Guidance on Surveillance Technology: On September 30, the State Department published voluntary guidance for U.S. companies that export surveillance technology and want to ensure their products are not used to violate human rights. The roadmap is intended to provide practical advice for businesses in line with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and it highlights due diligence steps and possible red flags when exporting surveillance technology. On October 5, the Commerce Department also amended export restrictions to expand circumstances in which a U.S. export’s potential to further human rights abuses abroad are considered, specifically mentioning human rights violations involving surveillance.
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
Civilian Space Infrastructure Development Plan: National Medium- To Long-Term Civilian Space Infrastructure Development Plan. This document lays out the PRC government’s priorities for developing China’s civilian space infrastructure through 2025. It recommends that China reduce its reliance on foreign civilian satellite technology, but also advocates for continued use of international exchanges and technology transfer as ways to catch up to more technologically advanced countries in space infrastructure.
What We’re Reading
Report: Interim Report and Third Quarter Recommendations, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (October 2020)
Report: Future of Defense Task Force Report 2020, House Armed Services Committee (September 2020)
Report: China Task Force Report, House Foreign Affairs Committee (September 2020)
Paper: The Global Semiconductor Value Chain: A Technology Primer for Policy Makers, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (October 2020)
Report: Rightly Scaled, Carefully Open, Infinitely Agile: Reconfiguring To Win the Innovation Race in the Intelligence Community, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research (STAR) Subcommittee (October 2020)
What’s New at CSET
- Russian AI Research 2010 To 2018 by Margarita Konaev and James Dunham
- Privately Held AI Companies by Sector by Santiago Mutis
- Patent Landscape for Computer Vision: United States and China by Simon Rodriguez, Autumn Toney and Melissa Flagg
- Estimating the Number of Chinese STEM Students in the United States by Jacob Feldgoise and Remco Zwetsloot
CSET is hiring! Please share with qualified candidates in your network or consider applying.
- Research Analyst: Collaborate with Research Fellows to develop and execute research projects. BA in relevant area and comfort with data analysis/viz required (MA preferred).
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 Chinese military fire upon another country’s vessel in the South China Sea between January 1 and June 30, 2021?
- (New) What will the trade-to-GDP ratio for China be in the first two quarters of 2021?
- (New) What will the trade-to-GDP ratio for all OECD member countries be in the first two quarters of 2021?
- CSET hosted WestExec Advisors’ Michèle Flournoy and Gabrielle Chefitz, together with Avril Haines, for a discussion of their new report outlining how the Defense Department can adapt its testing, evaluation, validation and verification infrastructure for AI on October 6. The authors were joined by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s Ashley Llorens, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center’s Jane Pinelis and moderator Richard Danzig.
- National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence: Interim Report and Third Quarter Recommendations. This report cites CSET research on alliances, demand for AI talent and AI chips as well as a CSET original translation.
- U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission: Overseas Chinese Students and Scholars in China’s Drive for Innovation. This report cites CSET research on overseas professionals and on intention-to stay rates of international PhD students.
- Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China-Relations: Addressing the China Challenge for American Universities. This paper cites CSET research on retaining top U.S. AI talent.
- The New York Times: Carrick Flynn’s research on extreme ultraviolet lithography machines was cited in an article on the pressure Taiwanese chipmakers feel from the United States and China.
- FedScoop: CSET’s event with WestExec Advisors on DOD’s Testing, Evaluation, Validation and Verification enterprise was covered in a piece describing speaker Michèle Flournoy’s views on AI testing.
- South China Morning Post: An article on the U.S.-China tech rivalry quoted Tarun Chhabra on possible chokepoint technologies and Zachary Arnold on the impact of U.S. visa restrictions.
- Forbes: An opinion piece on export controls for semiconductor manufacturing equipment highlighted CSET research in this area.
- VentureBeat: CSET research on U.S. retention of AI talent was cited in an article on trends in the AI industry.
- War on the Rocks: Commentary on the importance of allies for U.S. AI dominance mentions CSET research on assessing data advantage in military AI.
- October 15: Politico, AI Summit: An AI-Powered World
- October 19: CSET, Using Crowd Forecasting To Inform Policy, with Jason Matheny
- October 20: Microsoft, Federal Science and Research Summit
- October 27: UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, AI Race(s) To the Bottom featuring Will Hunt and Tim Hwang
- October 29: CSET and Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law, National Security Law and the Coming AI Revolution featuring Jason Matheny and Jamie Baker
What else is going on? Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.