CSET produces evidence-driven analysis in a variety of forms, from informative graphics and translations to expert testimony and published reports. Our key areas of inquiry are the foundations of artificial intelligence — such as talent, data and computational power — as well as how AI can be used in cybersecurity and other national security settings. We also do research on the policy tools that can be used to shape AI’s development and use, and on biotechnology.


Harnessed Lightning

Ryan Fedasiuk Jennifer Melot Ben Murphy
| October 2021

This report examines nearly 350 artificial intelligence-related equipment contracts awarded by the People’s Liberation Army and state-owned defense enterprises in 2020 to assess how the Chinese military is adopting AI. The report identifies China’s key AI defense industry suppliers, highlights gaps in U.S. export control policies, and contextualizes the PLA’s AI investments within China’s broader strategy to compete militarily with the United States.

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AI and Compute

Andrew Lohn Micah Musser
| January 2022

Between 2012 and 2018, the amount of computing power used by record-breaking artificial intelligence models doubled every 3.4 months. Even with money pouring into the AI field, this trendline is unsustainable. Because of cost, hardware availability and engineering difficulties, the next decade of AI can't rely exclusively on applying more and more computing power to drive further progress.

See our original translation of a 2021 plan from a local PRC government outlining its strategy for implementing military-civil fusion.

Data Brief

Comparing U.S. and Chinese Contributions to High-Impact AI Research

Ashwin Acharya Brian Dunn
| January 2022

In the past decade, Chinese researchers have become increasingly prolific authors of highly cited AI publications, approaching the global research share of their U.S. counterparts. However, some analysts question the impact of Chinese publications; are they well respected internationally, and do they cover important topics? In this data brief, the authors build on prior analyses of top AI publications to provide a richer understanding of the two countries’ contributions to high-impact AI research.


CSET at Three

Center for Security and Emerging Technology
| January 2022

To mark CSET’s third birthday, this comprehensive progress report highlights our growth and key accomplishments to date.

It is common for observers to compare machine intelligence with individual human intelligence, but this tendency can narrow and distort understanding. Rather, this paper suggests that machines, bureaucracies and markets can usefully be regarded as a set of artificial intelligences that have been invented to complement the limited abilities of individual human minds to discern patterns in large amounts of data. This approach opens an array of possibilities for insight and future investigation.

Data Brief

Trends in AI Research for the Visual Surveillance of Populations

Ashwin Acharya Max Langenkamp James Dunham
| January 2022

Progress in artificial intelligence has led to growing concern about the capabilities of AI-powered surveillance systems. This data brief uses bibliometric analysis to chart recent trends in visual surveillance research — what share of overall computer vision research it comprises, which countries are leading the way, and how things have varied over time.


AI and the Future of Disinformation Campaigns

Katerina Sedova Christine McNeill Aurora Johnson Aditi Joshi Ido Wulkan
| December 2021

Artificial intelligence offers enormous promise to advance progress and powerful capabilities to disrupt it. This policy brief is the second installment of a series that examines how advances in AI could be exploited to enhance operations that automate disinformation campaigns. Building on the RICHDATA framework, this report describes how AI can supercharge current techniques to increase the speed, scale, and personalization of disinformation campaigns.

Data Snapshot

Exploring Supercomputing with the Map of Science

Autumn Toney
| December 15, 2021

Data Snapshots are informative descriptions and quick analyses that dig into CSET’s unique data resources. Snapshots explore CSET’s Map of Science and the underlying data and analytic utility of this new tool. Check in every two weeks to see our newest Snapshot, and explore CSET’s Map of Science user interface, which enables users to interact with the Map directly.


Making AI Work for Cyber Defense

Wyatt Hoffman
| December 15, 2021

Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role in cyber defense, but vulnerabilities in AI systems call into question their reliability in the face of evolving offensive campaigns. Because securing AI systems can require trade-offs based on the types of threats, defenders are often caught in a constant balancing act. This report explores the challenges in AI security and their implications for deploying AI-enabled cyber defenses at scale.


Wisdom of the Crowd as Arbiter of Expert Disagreement

Michael Page
| December 2021

How can state-of-the-art probabilistic forecasting tools be used to advance expert debates on big policy questions? Using Foretell, a crowd forecasting platform piloted by CSET, we trialed a method to break down a big question—”What is the future of the DOD-Silicon Valley relationship?”—into measurable components, and then leveraged the wisdom of the crowd to reduce uncertainty and arbitrate disagreement among a group of experts.