Hardware and compute

Technical leadership in the semiconductor industry has been a cornerstone of U.S. military and economic power for decades, but continued competitiveness is not guaranteed. This issue brief exploring the composition of the workforce bolstering U.S. leadership in the semiconductor industry concludes that immigration restrictions are directly at odds with U.S. efforts to secure its supply chains.

How the next White House should handle AI

Axios
| September 23, 2020

Axios Future highlighted a series of one-pagers issued by CSET providing AI policy recommendations for the next presidential administration to consider and implement. The full piece from Axios can be found below.

CSET research has consistently highlighted the importance of advanced chips to the development of AI. TechSpot's recent coverage of this work can be found below.

Multilateral Controls on Hardware Chokepoints

Carrick Flynn Saif M. Khan
| September 2020

Protecting international security and human rights by using multilateral controls on semiconductor manufacturing equipment and advanced chips

One sentence summarizes the complexities of modern artificial intelligence: Machine learning systems use computing power to execute algorithms that learn from data. This AI triad of computing power, algorithms, and data offers a framework for decision-making in national security policy.

Significant debate surrounds the gap between China’s technological ambitions and achievements, and the long-term prospects for its development of key technologies. On May 8, Brookings hosted a virtual event to explore these and other questions in tandem with CSET experts.

China seeks to develop an indigenous semiconductor industry. It is in the strategic interest of the United States and democratic friends for China to remain reliant on them for state-of-the-art computer chips, especially as Beijing invests heavily in advanced chips.

Why AI Chips Matter

Saif M. Khan
| April 2020

As artificial intelligence is applied to new and more complex tasks, the computational power necessary to develop and deploy it will become increasingly expensive. This policy brief offers a concise overview of the full report, “AI Chips: What They Are and Why They Matter.”

The success of modern AI techniques relies on computation on a scale unimaginable even a few years ago. What exactly are the AI chips powering the development and deployment of AI at scale and why are they essential? Saif M. Khan and Alexander Mann explain how these chips work, why they have proliferated, and why they matter.

What U.S. export controls on AI-relevant technologies would help further aims such as stability and human rights abroad without impeding U.S. R&D? This issue brief assesses where such controls will be effective, ineffective or even damaging to the interests of the United States and its allies.