March 20, 2024

Sharper: Regulating Technology

Analysis from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges for U.S. foreign policy.

The pace of technological change presents both immense opportunity for private industry and complex challenges for national security. These technologies, including artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, semiconductors, and social media platforms such as TikTok, are applicable to all aspects of American life. The rapid advancement of technologies beyond existing regulation has spurred conversations of how U.S. policymakers should get ahead of their extensive national security implications. CNAS experts are sharpening the conversation around how U.S. regulation of critical technologies can advance American ingenuity and protect American national interests. Continue reading this edition of Sharper to explore their analysis, commentary, and recommendations.


Future-Proofing Frontier AI Regulation: Projecting Future Compute for Frontier AI Models

A new report by Paul Scharre, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, argues that policymakers should prepare for a world of significantly more powerful AI systems over the next decade. AI’s explosive growth means policymakers must future-proof regulations to be prepared for AI systems that are significantly more computationally intensive and capable than the most powerful models in existence today. Computing hardware is likely to become even more essential in the future for training the most advanced AI models. Given intense geopolitical competition with China, the United States must adopt policies that safeguard America’s advantages in chips, while ensuring AI’s benefits are widely shared.

The Outbound Investment EO: What's in, What's out, and What Does it All Mean?

Amid increasing tensions and technological competition with China, the White House released an executive order (EO) last August detailing its plans to restrict certain U.S. investments in a set of Chinese technology companies engaged in chips, quantum technology, and AI. To unpack what is included in the executive order, and what it means for national security and U.S. companies, the Center for a New American Security and the Geoeconomics Center at the Atlantic Council brought together experts who explained the scope and scale of this EO.

Technology & National Security

Future-Proofing Frontier AI Regulation

Executive Summary Policymakers should prepare for a world of significantly more powerful AI systems over the next decade. These developments could occur without fundamental b...

Energy, Economics & Security

Virtual Event | The Outbound Investment EO: What's in, what's out, and what does it all mean?

Aug 11, 2023

Biotech Matters: A U.S. National Security Imperative

Research Associate Hannah Kelley highlights the United States’ need to prioritize and strengthen its biotech sector to maintain its global leadership position and ensure its national security. The commentary emphasizes the immense potential of biotechnology to address a wide range of global challenges—from healthcare and climate change to critical supply chains and national defense—and underscores the importance of U.S. biotech leadership in the face of increasingly tense technological competition, particularly with the People's Republic of China.

Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence

CNAS experts unpack a recent executive order (EO) that established new guidelines and goals for how artificial intelligence can be responsibly used in the United States. The EO, released last October, sought to simultaneously protect the safety and privacy of Americans, as well as maintain the country's competitive advantage in the global race for AI leadership.

Technology & National Security

Biotech Matters

Operation Warp Speed showed the power of the U.S. government to direct national biotech capabilities around a shared goal—in this case, a novel vaccine. But there are many oth...

Technology & National Security

NOTEWORTHY: Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence

CNAS experts unpack the recently released executive order from the White House that establishes new guidelines and goals for how artificial intelligence is responsibly used in...


What an American Approach to AI Regulation Should Look Like

“Although the Biden Administration’s AI executive order was a valuable first step, there are limits to what the executive branch can do on its own,” argue Paul Scharre and Vivek Chilukuri for Time Magazine. “Only Congress can provide America with an enduring legal framework to govern this transformative technology. As lawmakers weigh their options, they must balance an array of competing priorities: the need to ensure an open and competitive AI ecosystem, manage safety risks, control the proliferation of potentially harmful AI systems, and stay ahead of China. To accomplish these goals, the United States will need a flexible and adaptive regulatory framework to keep pace with a rapidly evolving technology.”

Behind China’s Plans to Build AI for the World

“To compete with China’s efforts, the United States needs a far more expansive vision of how to empower other nations with the education, tools and infrastructure needed to jump start their own AI efforts,” write Bill Drexel and Hannah Kelley for POLITICO Magazine. “If the United States is to truly lead the world in AI, it must not only lead the conversation on its rules, but also lay the foundations for its dissemination to the world—or risk losing out to Beijing.”

UK Versus EU: Who Has A Better Policy Approach To AI?

“The United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) are taking different approaches to regulating artificial intelligence (AI). Whose approach to AI governance is better? Thus far, it has been the United Kingdom,” says Noah Greene for Tech Policy Press. “The UK’s framework is less rigid, allowing for firms to innovate more quickly while also giving the government flexibility to respond to societal risks as they arise. A sector-specific approach gives it more leverage to adapt its regulatory style as needed, reducing the government’s administrative burden, and increasing its responsiveness to societal needs.”

In the News

Commentary and analysis from Paul Scharre, Vivek Chilukuri, Emily Kilcrease, and Hannah Kelley.

Technology & National Security

From Land Mines to Drones, Tech Has Driven Fears About Autonomous Arms

The next step in the progression toward more sophisticated autonomous weapons came in the form of “fire and forget” homing munitions like the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air...

Technology & National Security

CBC's Hillary Johnstone speaks with Vivek Chilukuri about the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill that could see TikTok banned in the U.S.

Vivek Chilukuri joins CBC News to discuss the national security risks of TikTok and what Congress can do to regulate it. Watch the full interview and more from CBC News....

Energy, Economics & Security

Emily Kilcrease joins BBC Newshour to discuss TikTok Regulation

As the House votes on its latest attempt to regulate the popular app TikTok, Emily Kilcrease joins BBC Newshour to discuss what makes both this bill and this app so unique. L...

Technology & National Security

A bill that could lead to a TikTok ban is gaining momentum in Congress. Here's what to know.

Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi said in a joint statement that the alert "misrepresents the bill as a 'ban' on TikTok in a blatant pressure campaign to intimidate members," addin...

Energy, Economics & Security

The US is known for designing chips, not making them. Can the CHIPS Act funding change that?

Speed matters here, because the U.S. is competing with other countries who are offering their own incentives to chipmakers, said Emily Kilcrease, director of the energy, econo...

About the Sharper Series

The CNAS Sharper series features curated analysis and commentary from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy. From the future of America's relationship with China to the state of U.S. sanctions policy and more, each collection draws on the reports, interviews, and other commentaries produced by experts across the Center to explore how America can strengthen its competitive edge.


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