The Center for Security and Emerging Technology produces data-driven research at the intersection of security and technology, providing nonpartisan analysis to the policy community.
CSET is unique in the United States:
- As a single organization, we perform analysis of strategic and policy issues, draw on a data science team with access to roughly 28 TB of data, conduct original surveys, and directly translate Chinese strategic planning and technical documents into English.
- CSET is fully supported by grants from Open Philanthropy, the Hewlett Foundation and the Public Interest Technology University Network. This allows CSET to engage directly and transparently with U.S. government officials, other research organizations and leading AI companies.
This document introduces areas of CSET’s work. All of the research and briefings listed here were completed in the last 2-3 years.
Areas of CSET work:
Broad resources on AI and computing for U.S. leaders:
- AI and National Security, in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center
- The AI Triad and What It Means for National Security Strategy
- Shaping the Terrain of AI Competition
- One Pagers – Recommendations for the New Administration
National and international security issues involving AI span a wide area that includes both creating AI advancements and benefitting from AI technologies.
Generating AI advancements requires access to talent, funding, hardware, data, and algorithms:
- Talent and Workforce: This research explores the global AI workforce and policies that affect it, including immigration, education pipelines and talent recruitment and retention. Two central themes are the importance of attracting and retaining high-skilled immigrants and the state of the U.S. domestic AI workforce.
- Investment: What is the extent of public and private investment in AI, both in the United States and abroad? This research area analyzes U.S. and Chinese investment flows, including Chinese public AI R&D spending and private sector AI investments.
- Hardware and Compute: This line of research examines the hardware behind AI, and investigates policy methods to protect that technology, including export controls. A good introduction is Why AI Chips Matter.
- Data, Algorithms, and Models: This research explores the data and algorithms that underpin AI systems, for example by evaluating the role of data in military AI.
As a general-purpose technology, AI has applications across all sectors. CSET focuses on applications most relevant to national security:
- Defense applications: AI’s potential in defense applications both on and off the battlefield is the subject of much interest. One major report analyzes U.S. military investments in autonomy and AI.
- Cybersecurity and AI: CSET’s CyberAI Project focuses specifically on the intersection of AI and cybersecurity. CyberAI’s research program includes analysis both of AI’s potential uses in cyber operations and of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in current AI systems.
Policymakers can make use of a variety of levers and approaches in shaping the development and deployment of AI:
- Alliances & diplomacy: This area of research identifies ways in which the United States could engage diplomatically with allies, partners, and others to promote U.S. interests in technology policy. Agile Alliances describes options to collaborate with allies and partners to promote liberal democratic values in the development of AI.
- Standards & testing: At present, AI systems are failure-prone, unreliable, and opaque. This research line identifies areas where U.S. policy could promote the development of testing frameworks, international standards, and other tools to enable safe, reliable, widespread deployment of AI. Key Concepts in AI Safety introduces some relevant challenges.
- Trade & industry: Research in this area evaluates issues relevant to U.S. industry and supply chains. Ensuring the vitality and security of these elements is key to maintaining competitiveness. Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains presents CSET’s recommendations for high-end computer chips.
To explore CSET’s full body of work across these topics, see the Research page on our website, which also allows filtering by topic area and type of publication.
Other CSET projects include:
- policy.ai: Our biweekly newsletter covers developments in artificial intelligence, emerging technology and security policy.
- Translations: CSET’s research is supported by our original translations of foreign-language documents, especially Chinese strategic and technical documents. You can request CSET translations of new documents here.
- Data interactives: CSET creates interactive interfaces for other researchers to explore data that we have found relevant to our work, such as the Chinese Talent Program Tracker and Chinese State Council Budget Tracker.
- Foretell: CSET’s crowd forecasting platform monitors events relevant to the future of technology and security policy.
Collaborations: In addition to our collaboration on a report with the Bipartisan Policy Center, CSET produced a research series with the Brookings Institution on the Global China: Technology project, and works with the Andrew W. Marshall Foundation to host an Andrew Marshall Fellow who researches long-term issues facing the United States. CSET also works regularly with colleagues across a number of other related organizations.
Lastly, CSET is equipping a new generation of strategic thinkers and analysts as part of Georgetown’s educational mandate. To get to know our staff and read their individually co-authored publications, see our team page.