Ryan Fedasiuk is a research analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). His research explores military applications of artificial intelligence, as well as China’s efforts to acquire foreign technical information. Prior to joining CSET, Ryan was an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Arms Control Association, the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, and the Council on Foreign Relations, where he authored research on air and missile defense systems and nuclear stability. His writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief, and the Brookings Institution’s Global China series. Ryan holds a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Russian from American University (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). He is enrolled as an M.A. candidate in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, where he also studies Chinese.

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.

Collaborating with allies to shape the trajectory of artificial intelligence and protect against digital authoritarianism

CSET's Ryan Fedasiuk argues that the CCP's efforts to poach science and technology professionals are becoming more appealing, and that to retain U.S. scientists the United States must create more opportunities for experts.

CSET research sheds light on the backgrounds and career paths of nearly 3,600 awardees in China’s Youth Thousand Talents Plan. While concerns over China’s recruitment of science and technology experts for military-supporting roles are legitimate, this brief finds that the vast majority of YTTP awardees receive civilian-oriented job offers.

The world is watching how the Chinese military develops and deploys artificial intelligence—but how exactly will it apply AI? This policy brief analyzes Chinese experts’ arguments about AI and prospective warfighting capabilities, identifying prevailing concerns about strategic stability and unintended escalation.

Both China and the United States seek to develop military applications enabled by artificial intelligence. This issue brief reviews the obstacles to assessing data competitiveness and provides metrics for measuring data advantage.

China's government encourages members of the Chinese diaspora to engage in technology transfer through Chinese professional associations. This issue brief analyzes 208 such associations to assess the scope of technical exchange between overseas professionals and entities within China.

The Chinese government seeks to exert influence through its scholarship and exchange programs. This issue brief assembles a picture of the China Scholarship Council—the primary vehicle by which the state provides scholarships—through Chinese-language sources.

The United States and its allies must develop targeted and coordinated policies to respond to unwanted Chinese technology transfer—gathering more data, raising awareness of tech transfer, and coordinating investment screening procedures as part of a broader agenda of technology alliance cooperation.

Agile Alliances

February 2020

The United States must collaborate with its allies and partners to shape the trajectory of artificial intelligence, promoting liberal democratic values and protecting against efforts to wield AI for authoritarian ends.