Dr. Margarita Konaev is Deputy Director of Analysis and a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) interested in military applications of AI and Russian military innovation. She is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Center for a New American Security. Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Before joining CSET, she worked as a Senior Principal in the Marketing and Communications practice at Gartner.
Margarita’s research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia has been published by the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the French Institute of International Relations, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, Modern War Institute, Foreign Policy Research Institute and a range of other outlets. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Brandeis University.
China’s government has pushed the country’s technology and financial firms to expand abroad, and Southeast Asia’s growing economies — and AI companies — offer promising opportunities. This report examines the scope and nature of Chinese investment in the region. It finds that China currently plays a limited role in Southeast Asia’s emerging AI markets outside of Singapore and that Chinese investment activity still trails behind that of the United States. Nevertheless, Chinese tech companies, with support from the Chinese government, have established a broad range of other AI-related linkages with public and commercial actors across Southeast Asia.
Through the Quad forum, the United States, Australia, Japan and India have committed to pursuing an open, accessible and secure technology ecosystem and offering a democratic alternative to China’s techno-authoritarian model. This report assesses artificial intelligence collaboration across the Quad and finds that while Australia, Japan and India each have close AI-related research and investment ties to both the United States and China, they collaborate far less with one another.
In an opinion piece for Foreign Policy, CSET's Margarita Konaev describes Russia's overestimation of its own capabilities while underestimating the difficulties of urban warfare during its invasion of Ukraine.
Advances in robotics technology are having a transformative effect on how people work, travel, communicate, and fight wars. This data brief provides an overview of global trends in robotics patents between 2005 and 2019, focusing in particular on the state of robotics patenting in Russia, as well as developments in military robotics patents both in Russia and across the globe.
Chinese and Russian government officials are keen to publicize their countries’ strategic partnership in emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence. This report evaluates the scope of cooperation between China and Russia as well as relative trends over time in two key metrics of AI development: research publications and investment. The findings expose gaps between aspirations and reality, bringing greater accuracy and nuance to current assessments of Sino-Russian tech cooperation.
As multinational collaboration on emerging technologies takes center stage, U.S. allies and partners must overcome the technological, bureaucratic, and political barriers to working together. This report assesses the challenges to multinational collaboration and explains how joint projects centered on artificial intelligence applications for military logistics and sustainment offer a viable path forward.
CSET Research Fellow Margarita Konaev and Research Analyst Husanjot Chahal discuss research gaps on trust in human-machine teaming and how to build trustworthy AI systems for military systems and missions.
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.
National security leaders view AI as a priority technology for defending the United States. This two-part analysis is intended to help policymakers better understand the scope and implications of U.S. military investment in autonomy and AI. It focuses on the range of autonomous and AI-enabled technologies the Pentagon is developing, the military capabilities these applications promise to deliver, and the impact that such advances could have on key strategic issues.
This brief examines how the Pentagon’s investments in autonomy and AI may affect its military capabilities and strategic interests. It proposes that DOD invest in improving its understanding of trust in human-machine teams and leverage existing AI technologies to enhance military readiness and endurance. In the long term, investments in reliable, trustworthy, and resilient AI systems are critical for ensuring sustained military, technological, and strategic advantages.
The Pentagon has a wide range of research and development programs using autonomy and AI in unmanned vehicles and systems, information processing, decision support, targeting functions, and other areas. This policy brief delves into the details of DOD’s science and technology program to assess trends in funding, key areas of focus, and gaps in investment that could stymie the development and fielding of AI systems in operational settings.
Today’s research and development investments will set the course for artificial intelligence in national security in the coming years. This Executive Summary presents key findings and recommendations from CSET’s two-part analysis of U.S. military investments in autonomy and AI, including our assessment of DOD’s research priorities, trends and gaps, as well as ways to ensure U.S. military leadership in AI in the short and the long term.
Over the last decade, Moscow has boosted funding of universities and implemented reforms in order to make Russia a global leader in AI. As part of that effort, Russian researchers have expanded their English-language publication output, a key—if imperfect—measure of the country’s innovation and impact. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of English-language publications by Russian scientists in AI-related fields increased six-fold.
Margarita Konaev weighs in on the future military environment on "The Convergence" podcast, drawing from her experience in emerging technologies, military applications of artificial intelligence, and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia.
Rita Konaev, Research Fellow at CSET, writes, “AI’s potential to improve wartime decision-making through real-time actionable intelligence can help reduce the risk of casualties, fratricide, and collateral damage in urban warfare.”
Rita Konaev, Research Fellow at CSET writes with Samuel Bendett that “when it comes to military applications of artificial intelligence, overlooking Russia is a mistake.” In this article, they analyze Russia’s current and potential future technological advances in autonomous systems and information warfare.
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