Ashwin Acharya

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Ashwin Acharya was a Research Analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) focused on R&D policy and bibliometric analysis. Most recently, he was a Research Scholar at the University of Oxford, working with the Center for the Governance of AI. Previously, Ashwin was a Summer Research Associate at CSET, where he co-authored an analysis of the Chinese government’s AI R&D funding. Ashwin is a master’s candidate in Georgetown’s Security Studies Program and received his B.A. in Physics from the University of Chicago.

Problems of AI safety are the subject of increasing interest for engineers and policymakers alike. This brief uses the CSET Map of Science to investigate how research into three areas of AI safety — robustness, interpretability and reward learning — is progressing. It identifies eight research clusters that contain a significant amount of research relating to these three areas and describes trends and key papers for each of them.

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.

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.

Devices based on superconductor electronics can achieve much higher energy efficiency than standard electronics. Research in superconductor electronics could advance a range of commercial and defense priorities, with potential applications for supercomputing, artificial intelligence, sensors, signal processing, and quantum computing. This brief identifies the countries most actively contributing to superconductor electronics research and assesses their relative competitiveness in terms of both research output and funding.

"AI is very different from other security-relevant technologies, in that the private sector is in the driver's seat." Zach Arnold and Ashwin Acharya joined the ChinaTalk podcast to discuss their work at CSET on AI investment.

China aims to become “the world’s primary AI innovation center” by 2030. Toward that end, the Chinese government is spending heavily on AI research and development (R&D)—but perhaps not as heavily as some have thought. This memo provides a provisional, open-source estimate of China’s spending.