Research

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.

Report

China’s STI Operations

William Hannas Huey-Meei Chang
| January 2021

Open source intelligence (OSINT) and science and technology intelligence (STI) are realized differently in the United States and China, China putting greater value on both. In the United States’ understanding, OSINT “enables” classified reporting, while in China it is the intelligence of first resort. This contrast extends to STI which has a lower priority in the U.S. system, whereas China and its top leaders personally lavish great attention on STI and rely on it for national decisions. Establishing a “National S&T Analysis Center” within the U.S. government could help to address these challenges.

China


Cybersecurity


Data, algorithms and models


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Analysis

AI Verification

Matthew Mittelsteadt
| February 2021

The rapid integration of artificial intelligence into military systems raises critical questions of ethics, design and safety. While many states and organizations have called for some form of “AI arms control,” few have discussed the technical details of verifying countries’ compliance with these regulations. This brief offers a starting point, defining the goals of “AI verification” and proposing several mechanisms to support arms inspections and continuous verification.

Analysis

Trusted Partners

Margarita Konaev Tina Huang Husanjot Chahal
| February 2021

As the U.S. military integrates artificial intelligence into its systems and missions, there are outstanding questions about the role of trust in human-machine teams. This report examines the drivers and effects of such trust, assesses the risks from too much or too little trust in intelligent technologies, reviews efforts to build trustworthy AI systems, and offers future directions for research on trust relevant to the U.S. military.

Analysis

Assessing the Scope of U.S. Visa Restrictions on Chinese Students

Remco Zwetsloot Emily Weinstein Ryan Fedasiuk
| February 2021

In May 2020, the White House announced it would deny visas to Chinese graduate students and researchers who are affiliated with organizations that implement or support China’s military-civil fusion strategy. The authors discuss several ways this policy might be implemented. Based on Chinese and U.S. policy documents and data sources, they estimate that between three and five thousand Chinese students might be prevented from entering U.S. graduate programs each year.

Analysis

China’s STI Operations

William Hannas Huey-Meei Chang
| January 2021

Open source intelligence (OSINT) and science and technology intelligence (STI) are realized differently in the United States and China, China putting greater value on both. In the United States’ understanding, OSINT “enables” classified reporting, while in China it is the intelligence of first resort. This contrast extends to STI which has a lower priority in the U.S. system, whereas China and its top leaders personally lavish great attention on STI and rely on it for national decisions. Establishing a “National S&T Analysis Center” within the U.S. government could help to address these challenges.

Analysis

Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains

Saif M. Khan
| January 2021

The countries with the greatest capacity to develop, produce and acquire state-of-the-art semiconductor chips hold key advantages in the development of emerging technologies. At present, the United States and its allies possess significant leverage over core segments of the supply chain used to produce these chips. This policy brief outlines actions the United States and its allies can take to secure that advantage in the long term and use it to promote the beneficial use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

Analysis

The Semiconductor Supply Chain

Saif M. Khan
| January 2021

Semiconductors are a key component in fueling scientific progress, promoting economic advancement, and ensuring national security. This issue brief summarizes each component of the semiconductor supply chain and where the United States and its allies possess the greatest leverage. A related policy brief, “Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains,” recommends policy actions to ensure the United States maintains this leverage and uses it to promote the beneficial use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

Analysis

The U.S. AI Workforce

Diana Gehlhaus Santiago Mutis
| January 2021

As the United States seeks to maintain a competitive edge in artificial intelligence, the strength of its AI workforce will be of paramount importance. In order to understand the current state of the domestic AI workforce, Diana Gehlhaus and Santiago Mutis define the AI workforce and offer a preliminary assessment of its size, composition, and key characteristics. Among their findings: The domestic supply of AI talent consisted of an estimated 14 million workers (or about 9% of total U.S. employment) as of 2018.

Analysis

A New Institutional Approach to Research Security in the United States

Melissa Flagg Zachary Arnold
| January 2021

U.S. research security requires trust and collaboration between those conducting R&D and the federal government. Most R&D takes place in the private sector, outside of government authority and control, and researchers are wary of federal government or law enforcement involvement in their work. Despite these challenges, as adversaries work to extract science, technology, data and know-how from the United States, the U.S. government is pursuing an ambitious research security initiative. In order to secure the 78 percent of U.S. R&D funded outside the government, authors Melissa Flagg and Zachary Arnold propose a new, public-private research security clearinghouse, with leadership from academia, business, philanthropy, and government and a presence in the most active R&D hubs across the United States.

Analysis

AI and the Future of Cyber Competition

Wyatt Hoffman
| January 2021

As states turn to AI to gain an edge in cyber competition, it will change the cat-and-mouse game between cyber attackers and defenders. Embracing machine learning systems for cyber defense could drive more aggressive and destabilizing engagements between states. Wyatt Hoffman writes that cyber competition already has the ingredients needed for escalation to real-world violence, even if these ingredients have yet to come together in the right conditions.

Analysis

Mapping U.S. Multinationals’ Global AI R&D Activity

Roxanne Heston Remco Zwetsloot
| December 2020

Many factors influence where U.S. tech multinational corporations decide to conduct their global artificial intelligence research and development (R&D). Company AI labs are spread all over the world, especially in North America, Europe and Asia. But in contrast to AI labs, most company AI staff remain concentrated in the United States. Roxanne Heston and Remco Zwetsloot explain where these companies conduct AI R&D, why they select particular locations, and how they establish their presence there. The report is accompanied by a new open-source dataset of more than 60 AI R&D labs run by these companies worldwide.