• AI Disinformation Is a Threat to Elections − Learning to Spot Russian, Chinese and Iranian Meddling in Other Countries Can Help the U.S. Prepare for 2024

    Elections around the world are facing an evolving threat from foreign actors, one that involves artificial intelligence. Countries trying to influence each other’s elections entered a new era in 2016, when the Russians launched a series of social media disinformation campaigns targeting the U.S. presidential election. But there is a new element: generative AI and large language models. These have the ability to quickly and easily produce endless reams of text on any topic in any tone from any perspective, thus making generative AI and large language models a tool uniquely suited to internet-era propaganda. The sooner we know what to expect, the better we can deal with what comes.

  • U.S.-China “Tech War”: AI Sparks First Battle in Middle East

    The U.S. has restricted exports of some computer chips to the Middle East, to stop AI-enabling chips from getting to China. But there’s no information on which countries are affected, or how chips would get to China. What is becoming clear is that AI could well become a new source of friction between democratic and autocratic states.

  • It's Easier to Get Valuable Metals from Battery Waste If You “Flash” It

    Demand for valuable metals needed in batteries is poised to grow over the coming decades in step with the growth of clean energy technologies, and the best place to source them may be by recycling spent batteries.

  • What Fuels Wildfires in Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Wildfires in California, exacerbated by human-driven climate change, are getting more severe. To better manage them, there’s a growing need to know exactly what fuels the blazes after they ignite. One of the chief fuels of wildfires in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is the decades-old remains of large trees.

  • Desalination System Could Produce Freshwater That Is Cheaper Than Tap Water

    Researchers are aiming to turn seawater into drinking water with a completely passive device that is inspired by the ocean, and powered by the sun. They developed a solar-powered device that avoids salt-clogging issues of other designs.

  • Assessing the Risks of Existential Terrorism and AI

    Professor Gary Ackerman, associate dean at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) at SUNY-Albany, recently published an article, “Existential Terrorism: Can Terrorists Destroy Humanity?” which he co-authored with Zachary Kallenborn of CSIS. The article explores the plausibility of terrorist organizations using emerging technologies such as AI to enact existential harm, including human extinction.

  • New Center for AI Security Research to study AI’s Impacts on Society, Security

    The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced the establishment of the Center for AI Security Research, or CAISER, to address threats already present as governments and industries around the world adopt artificial intelligence and take advantage of the benefits it promises in data processing, operational efficiencies and decision-making.

  • Wind and Solar Power Could Significantly Exceed Britain’s Energy Needs

    Britain’s energy needs could be met entirely by wind and solar, according to a policy brief from Oxford University. Wind and solar can provide significantly more energy than the highest energy demand forecasts for 2050 and nearly ten times current electricity demand (299 TWh/year). The research shows up to 2,896 TWh a year could be generated by wind and solar, against the demand forecast of 1,500 TWh/year.

  • The U.S. Government Should Stockpile More Critical Minerals

    The 2022 National Defense Strategy describes China as America’s “most consequential strategic competitor for the coming decades.” Yet, Gregory Wischer and Jack Little write, the United States is unprepared to fight a major war against the Chinese. “A longer, more intense U.S.-Chinese conflict over Taiwan would expose even deeper cracks in the defense industrial base and undermine the U.S. military’s ability to defeat the Chinese military: The United States lacks sufficient stocks of critical minerals to support the defense industrial base, from nickel in superalloys for jet engines to rare earth elements in magnets for guided munitions,” they write.

  • Tech War: Is Huawei's New Chip a Threat?

    The US-China chip war is heating up after Huawei launched a new phone featuring technology that Washington was hoping to keep out of China’s reach: China’s largest chipmaker SMIC has surprised the West by creating a homegrown 7nm chip. Will the United States respond with more sanctions?

  • Cyber Defenders: Interns Take on National Security Challenges

    Over the past two decades, nearly 500 undergraduates and graduate students in cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering and related fields have worked on research projects, attended training courses and technical tours while receiving mentorship and unparalleled networking opportunities.

  • China’s Lead in Advanced Sensors Is Overwhelming

    China’s research in several advanced sensor technologies vital to military navigation and targeting is overwhelmingly ahead of the three AUKUS partners, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Even if the three team up with likeminded Indo-Pacific countries Japan and South Korea, they do not match the Chinese output in high-impact research.

  • DOE Invests $39 Million to Support a 21st Century Electric Grid

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $39 million for projects across DOE’s National Laboratories to help modernize the electricity grid. The investments will support the development and deployment of concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future while incorporating equity and the best available climate science.

  • With Automated Treatment, Affordable Water from Nontraditional Sources Can Flow to Underserved Communities

    Researchers are developing advanced automation techniques for desalination and water treatment plants, enabling them to save while providing affordable drinking water to small, parched communities without high-quality water supplies.

  • U.S. Investment in Semiconductor Manufacturing: Building the Talent Pipeline

    To reverse the three decade long decline in the United States’ share of semiconductor manufacturing, a concerted effort is required. Right now, the United States does not have the talent pool to support the ambitious goals of the August 2022 CHIPS Act.