Emerging Technologies

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RAND played a pivotal role in emerging technologies throughout the 20th century, from satellites and computers to information-sharing systems, packet switching, and artificial intelligence. RAND now explores the policy implications of emerging technologies across a broad scope of areas such as patient outcomes and health care quality; energy and environmental standards; privacy; military weapon systems; and training teachers and students in the 21st century.

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    Commentary

    The Silicon Valley Tech Industry Can Help Crime Victims

    Aug 11, 2014

    A broader approach is needed to better address the needs of millions of American victims of crimes like sexual assault, family violence, financial exploitation, gun violence, identity theft, burglary and stalking. And that's where Silicon Valley's tech community can step up.

  • Telemedicine consult, photo by Intel Free Press https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

    Testimony

    The Promise and Potential Pitfalls of Expanding the Use of Telehealth

    May 1, 2014

    The growth of telehealth requires oversight to ensure that these new delivery models do three things: provide high-quality care, improve access to those who need it most, and are utilized in a cost-effective manner.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • The blast furnaces at the now-closed Bethlehem Steel mill remain standing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2016

    Commentary

    America's Shifting Labor Market in a Technology-Driven World

    Making America competitive in a transitioning market will require examination of future labor market requirements. Workforce development programs that target building labor capacity for a new economy will be essential.

    Nov 25, 2016

  • Soldiers look at a portable lifting system by Stertil-Koni at the Marine West Military Expo at Camp Pendleton, California, February 1, 2012

    Commentary

    DIUx: Capturing Technological Innovation

    The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) aims to find new sources of advanced technology to give America an edge over potential foes. DIUx is evidence of another form of innovation: organizing in new ways to capture new ideas.

    Nov 23, 2016

  • Antoine van Agtmael, Lawrence Ingrassia, and Randal Quarles at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    Who Wins Globalization?

    While more needs to be done for those who once worked in industries such as furniture manufacturing, where essentially all activity has moved to lower-cost nations, the U.S. is starting to see an increase in manufacturing activity because of new types of technological advances.

    Nov 14, 2016

  • Nidhi Kalra and Timothy Bonds at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Q&A

    Autonomous Vehicles: Imagining the Day-to-Day of the Future

    At RAND's 2016 Politics Aside event, Nidhi Kalra and Timothy Bonds discuss what daily life might be like once autonomous vehicles populate the roads.

    Nov 14, 2016

  • Susan Dentzer, Eric Topol, and Mark Friedberg at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    The Price of Personalized Health Care

    Medical care in the United States is entering an era where technology can give patients more control over their care and let them take control of their health data.

    Nov 13, 2016

  • The autonomous ship "Sea Hunter" is shown docked in Portland, Oregon before its christening ceremony April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Killer Robots: Moral Concerns vs. Military Advantages

    The U.S. military should balance Americans' ethical concerns over computers making life and death decisions with the need to maintain an edge in the face of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning across the globe.

    Nov 4, 2016

  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    Commentary

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016

  • A fleet of Uber's Ford Fusion self-driving cars are shown during a demonstration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 13, 2016

    Commentary

    Driving to Safety: Autonomous Vehicle Questions, Answered

    A recent RAND report found that test-driving autonomous vehicles is not a feasible way to determine when they will be safe enough for consumer use. This resulted in a lot of questions.

    Oct 25, 2016

  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 carries the X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle for a launch test from Edwards AFB, California, May 1, 2013

    Commentary

    The Future of Hypersonic Weapons

    Russia and China appear to be developing hypersonic weapons. But the United States should make decisions about whether to develop its own hypersonic weapons in a vacuum.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • Research Brief

    Accelerating the Internet of Things in the UK: Linking policy with practice

    Using insights from Internet of Things (IoT) implementations and informed users of technology, RAND Europe carried out a study to support a process for policy feedback that will inform the development and adoption of the IoT in the UK.

    Oct 4, 2016

  • Report

    Accelerating the Internet of Things in the UK: Using policy to support practice

    Using insights from businesses and informed users of technology, RAND Europe carried out a study to support a process for policy feedback that will inform the development and adoption of the Internet of Things in the UK.

    Oct 4, 2016

  • Dmitri Dolgov, principal engineer on the software team of Google's Self-Driving Car project, speaks during a presentation in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    Commentary

    The Brains Behind Autonomous Vehicles May Need a License to Drive

    Autonomous vehicles require exquisite software. To make this software secure, industry and government should consider educational standards and licensure requirements for the engineers who create it.

    Sep 27, 2016

  • A police officer working on a computer in a patrol car

    Report

    Future Communications Technologies Could Strengthen Law Enforcement

    A workshop with 41 experts on both law enforcement operations and broadband technologies identified needs for technology initiatives and how law enforcement could best use future capabilities while mitigating potential risks.

    Sep 26, 2016

  • A fleet of Uber's Ford Fusion self-driving cars are shown during a demonstration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 13, 2016

    Commentary

    When Will We Know Self-Driving Cars Are Safe?

    Will autonomous vehicles be safe before they are allowed on the road for consumer use? Maybe. And that might be the best that can be said.

    Sep 25, 2016

  • John Seely Brown at RAND's headquarters campus in Santa Monica, California

    Content

    John Seely Brown: Pardee RAND Patron

    John Seely Brown has been steadfast in his philanthropic support of Pardee RAND, the graduate school founded at RAND more than 45 years ago to train the next generation of cutting-edge thinkers and policy analysts. He has served on its Board of Governors since 2013.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • A Tesla Model S with version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features is seen during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California, October 14, 2015

    Commentary

    Tesla Fatal Crash Reminds That Human Interface Remains Important

    The first reported fatality in a self-driving vehicle is a chilling reminder that the evolving relationship with increasingly robotic motor vehicles needs to be a partnership, an undertaking with humans and machines managing the risks.

    Jul 30, 2016

  • Aerographer's mates stand by as an unmanned underwater vehicle leaves the surface to search for mines as part of a training exercise

    Commentary

    The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Intelligence Agencies

    The defense community has already begun a healthy dialogue about the ethics of AI in combat systems. The intelligence community should develop standards for AI risk assessments and assign responsibility for conducting them.

    Jul 18, 2016

  • The interior of a Tesla Model S is shown in autopilot mode in San Francisco, California, April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Fatal Crash Shouldn't Kill Self-Driving Cars

    The first known fatality in an autonomous vehicle occurred on May 7 and raises important questions. It does not, however, mean that self-driving cars are less safe than human drivers or that development of the technology should be stopped.

    Jul 16, 2016

  • Double decker bus going by Big Ben and Parliament in London, UK

    Commentary

    Looking Out the Window to Transport in 2035

    The UK's roads, railways, and airports are some of the most congested in the world. Exploring future transport scenarios and the technologies that will drive them can help guide today's policy and investment decisions.

    Jun 27, 2016

  • Research Brief

    Travel in Britain in 2035: Future scenarios and their implications for technology

    By 2035 UK transport infrastructure may be severely congested. Innovate UK commissioned this study to explore how technology might address the congestion problem by using capacity more efficiently, supporting modal choice and managing travel demand.

    Jun 24, 2016