U.S. Chip Companies Call for Federal Funding for Domestic Chipmaking: On February 11, executives from some of the biggest U.S. chip companies — including Intel, IBM, Micron Technology, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Advanced Micro Devices — urged President Biden to include support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing in his future recovery and infrastructure plans. Many U.S. companies design their chips domestically but outsource manufacturing to foundries abroad. Some observers argue this model has made the world’s economy perilously dependent on a small number of semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan and South Korea. President Biden is reportedly planning to issue an executive order to address a recent semiconductor shortage that has hobbled a number of sectors, most notably the auto industry. The recent National Defense Authorization Act included provisions from the CHIPS for America Act authorizing federal incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities, but funding must still be appropriated.
- More: How Covid led to a $60 billion global chip shortage for the auto industry | Samsung considers Austin for $17 billion chip plant, seeks tax breaks of at least $806 million
- More: How A Con Man With Primary Education Defrauded Billions Out Of A Wuhan Chip Project | China’s SMIC Says It’s Missing Out on the Chip Boom Due to U.S. Restrictions
Deputy Secretary of Defense Discusses AI During Nomination Hearing: During her confirmation hearing before the Senate, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks named AI and autonomy as two of the Pentagon’s modernization priorities. In her written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hicks said the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center would be her “primary tool for guiding and accelerating the integration of artificial intelligence into the Department’s missions and activities.” As the second-highest-ranking official in the DOD, Hicks will oversee much of the department’s AI development and adoption; the most recent NDAA modified the JAIC’s reporting structure so that it now reports directly to the deputy secretary. In her written statement, Hicks committed to regular meetings with the JAIC leadership and proposed creating metrics to track the department’s AI adoption. On February 8, the Senate confirmed Deputy Secretary Hicks by voice vote.
House Forms New Defense Tech Subcommittee: Earlier this month, the House Armed Services Committee announced the formation of a new subcommittee for the 117th Congress. The Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems (CITI) will focus on the Pentagon’s emerging technology adoption and IT capabilities. The new subcommittee was formed out of the old Intelligence and Emerging Threats Capabilities subcommittee. As FedScoop noted, a number of its members served on the task force behind a HASC report on the future of warfare and the role of AI and other emerging technologies. Reps. Langevin and Stefanik, now chair and ranking member of CITI, respectively, also introduced the National Security Innovation Pathway Act last year, which aimed to provide a path to permanent residency for immigrants with national-security-relevant technological expertise.
Biden Speaks to Xi Jinping: Last week, President Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time as president, touching on several topics related to AI. A White House statement said Biden brought up China’s “unfair economic practices” and aggression towards Taiwan — a major manufacturer of U.S.-designed semiconductors — but neither the White House statement nor Beijing’s readout mentioned tariffs or trade policy. White House officials discussed details of the call and the Biden administration’s China strategy with reporters, saying the United States would, for the time being, maintain the tariffs instituted under President Trump — which have had a major impact on tech firms in both countries — and potentially use them as leverage in future negotiations with Beijing.
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
PRC Intellectual Property Notice: Notice of the Office of the State Council Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference on Implementation Work for the Intellectual Property Strategy on the Publication of the “2020 Promotion Plan for In-Depth Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy and for Accelerating the Construction of China into an Intellectual Property Powerhouse.” This document lists 100 different intellectual property-related projects that various PRC ministries and Party departments worked on during 2020. Notably, in the name of improving patent “quality” at the expense of quantity, a few of the projects eliminate some incentives for companies and universities to file patents.
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.
What We’re Reading
Article: Biden’s ambitious plan to push back against techno-autocracies, David Ignatius, The Washington Post (February 2021)
Article: America’s Eroding Technological Advantage, Christopher Darby and Sarah Sewall, Foreign Affairs (February 2021)
Article: China Blocked Jack Ma’s Ant IPO After Investigation Revealed Likely Beneficiaries, Lingling Wei, The Wall Street Journal (February 2021)
Article: Semiconductors and the U.S.-China Innovation Race, Foreign Policy (February 2021)
What’s New at CSET
- Corporate Investors in Top US AI Startups by Rebecca Kagan, Rebecca Gelles and Zachary Arnold
- From China to San Francisco: The Location of Investors in Top US AI Startups by Rebecca Kagan, Rebecca Gelles and Zachary Arnold
- Using Machine Learning to Fill Gaps in Chinese AI Market Data: Supervised Learning Finds AI-Related Activity That Leading Datasets Miss by Zachary Arnold, Joanne Boisson, Lorenzo Bongiovanni, Daniel Chou, Carrie Peelman and Ilya Rahkovsky
- Chinese State Council Budget Tracker by Ryan Fedasiuk, Emily Weinstein, Ben Murphy and Alan Loera
- Trusted Partners: Human-Machine Teaming and the Future of Military AI by Margarita Konaev, Tina Huang and Husanjot Chahal
- AI Verification: Mechanisms to Ensure AI Arms Control Compliance by Matthew Mittelsteadt
- Foreign Policy: Don’t Underestimate China’s Military-Civil Fusion Efforts by Emily Weinstein
- On February 11, the CSET webinar Modeling a Secure Future: Advanced Methods for Managing Risk and Improving Resilience featured a conversation between CSET Distinguished Fellow Reginald Brothers and Richard Danzig.
- Scientific American: Ben Buchanan spoke to Scientific American in the aftermath of a cyberattack against an Oldsmar, Florida, water treatment plant.
- VentureBeat: A recent VentureBeat story cited the December issue brief by Roxanne Heston and Remco Zwetsloot, Mapping U.S. Multinationals’ Global AI R&D Activity.
- The Wire China: For a cover story on the United States’ efforts to block the Chinese purchase of an advanced chipmaking machine, The Wire China interviewed CSET Research Analyst Will Hunt about the strategic importance of the semiconductor industry.
- The Wall Street Journal: An article about the composition of the National Security Council mentioned NSC member Tarun Chhabra’s background as a senior fellow at CSET.
- March 23: Asser Institute, Trusted Partners: Human-Machine Teaming and the Future of Military AI featuring Margarita Konaev
What else is going on? Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.