ChinAI Pod #1: AI Talent Policy with Remco Zwetsloot

  
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Welcome to the first episode of the ChinAI podcast, hosted by Jeff Ding. There’s a lot of great podcasts out there that get interesting people to talk about their latest work on either the surface or the euphotic zone layer (the layer of the ocean where sunlight still penetrates); the ChinAI podcast seeks to dive into the deepest layers of a guest’s work — whether that be a new report, paper, epic poem, etc. Just like how other podcasts in different domains are structured around the guest’s newest movie or latest book, this pod will feature engagement with a guest anchored to a specific piece of text, which Jeff will have actually read in its entirety, including all the footnotes and other relevant literature.

Each episode consists of four sections:

  1. The Briefing Checklist (BCL): The main takeaways from the piece, with the expectation that this is a five-minute brief for a high-level principal

  2. Debate the Guest (DTG): Too many podcasts consist of everyone saying “Yes, I agree…and now here’s my somewhat related point.” In contrast, Jeff will say, “This is a specific claim in your report that I want to directly rebut…” and we’ll use that as a starting point for further debate.

  3. Footnote Fever: Jeff and the guest share their favorite footnotes in the report, investigate the underlying assumptions/indicators behind the main findings, and explore the surrounding literature which influenced the work.

  4. Trust the Process (TTP): Some of my favorite podcasts are ones where we get an inside-view at the process behind someone’s work (e.g. how a movie director finds the perfect location for the scene, how a soccer coach plans tactics). In this section, we want to unpack the research process, which includes how a guest’s personal story ties into their work.


Our inaugural guest is Remco Zwetsloot, a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology. His writing on the security dimensions of artificial intelligence has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Lawfare and other publications. He is also a Research Affiliate and Ph.D. (D.Phil.) candidate at the University of Oxford’s Center for the Governance of AI. He has previously worked at OpenAI and holds degrees from Yale University (M.Phil., Political Science), the University of Oxford (M.Phil., International Relations) and University College Roosevelt (B.A., Social Science). Follow him @r_zwetsloot

*****Timestamps: Briefing Checklist (3:45); Debate the Guest (11:25); Footnote Fever (35:00); Trust the Process (46:15)

He joins the ChinAI podcast to discuss “Strengthening the U.S. AI Workforce: A Policy and Research Agenda” a Center for Security and Emerging Technology publication he wrote with the help of Roxanne Heston and Zachary Arnold. The report argues: A prolonged talent shortage could undermine U.S. strength in artificial intelligence, and current immigration policies place the country's AI talent advantage at risk. It lays out what is currently known about domestic and global AI talent, identifies priorities for U.S. policymakers and describes policy-relevant knowledge gaps that researchers should fill.