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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

  • 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. An exploration of future transport scenarios and the key technologies that will drive them helps to guide today's policy and investment decisions.

    Jun 27, 2016

  • Red bus passing over Westminster bridge with Big Ben in the background, London, UK

    Report

    Travel in Britain in 2035

    Without substantial investment, the UK will experience severe congestion across its transport infrastructure by 2035. How might emerging technologies be able to address the problem?

    Jun 24, 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

  • A pro-Russian rebel sends messages over his smartphone in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk, May 16, 2014

    Report

    How Commercial Tech Can Affect Military Intelligence Operations

    Commercial technologies such as smartphones are primarily about identifying and tracking people and patterns of behavior. Their presence is greatest in urban environments. This happens to be where most military intelligence operations are conducted and where most future insurgencies and wars are likely to take place.

    Jun 6, 2016

  • Computer security

    Project

    How Does Science and Technology Influence Policy Decisions and Population Wellbeing?

    Rapid innovation in science and technology has complex impacts on people, economies, legal structures and the environment. Science, Technology, and Policy focuses on the role of scientific development and technological innovation in human behavior, global and regional decisionmaking, and policy analysis.

    Jun 2, 2016

  • Illustration of data encryption

    Blog

    RAND's Lillian Ablon Presents 'Lessons from a Hacker'

    Lillian Ablon, a cybersecurity and emerging technologies researcher, spoke at a RAND Policy Circle Conversation on the world's expanding cyber vulnerability, those who are out there to take advantage of those vulnerabilities, as well as consumer attitudes toward breaches.

    Jun 1, 2016

  • A courtroom gavel

    Content

    Courts Innovations Needs Tool

    Overview and description of the Courts Innovation Needs Tool, part of the Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative project. The project is intended to identify priority needs within the criminal justice field for new technologies, training, and/or services and products that can solve problems.

    May 19, 2016

  • Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute, talks about developing autonomous cars during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5, 2016

    Commentary

    Why It's Nearly Impossible to Prove Self-Driving Cars' Safety Without a New Approach

    There are arguments to be made for permitting driverless cars in some capacity even if they are not quite as safe as human drivers, because doing so may enable developers to improve them faster, and thus save more lives overall.

    May 12, 2016

  • A self-driving vehicle travels on the road during a demonstration in Singapore, October 12, 2015

    Commentary

    The Police Could Be Controlling Your Self-Driving Car

    As self-driving cars become widespread, one of the biggest issues will be the rules under which public infrastructures and public safety officers may be empowered to override how autonomous vehicles are controlled.

    Apr 4, 2016

  • A satellite orbiting Earth

    Commentary

    The Democratization of Space

    A new economic model for outer space must account for lower barriers to entry and the involvement of more and more stakeholders, such as developing countries and start-ups.

    Mar 28, 2016

  • Advertisement from 1957 for "America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies" showing an autonomous car

    Report

    Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers

    Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology.

    Mar 22, 2016

  • Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel for Apple Inc., is sworn in before testifying to the House Judiciary hearing on "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy" March 1, 2016

    Commentary

    How the 'Wonks' of Public Policy and the 'Geeks' of Tech Can Get Together

    Conventional wisdom says that technology innovates and disrupts, while public policy regulates and controls. What might a better integration of the commercial tech sector with the policy community look like?

    Mar 18, 2016

  • Pieces of an iPhone are seen on a repair store counter in New York City, February 17, 2016

    Commentary

    The Cost of Security in the iPhone Era

    As the security on the iPhone better protects users from criminals, it also excels at keeping law enforcement from accessing the data. The dispute between the FBI and Apple over unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers continues but the real debate is about whether society wants legislation that weakens iPhone security for law enforcement.

    Feb 26, 2016

  • Group of friends holding their smart phones

    Commentary

    How You Can Be Cybersecurity's Strongest Asset

    Technology is thoroughly embedded within the average person's life but security is not emphasized to the general user. Teaching the importance of security early on and continually bringing awareness to the public could help temper technology-based attacks.

    Feb 18, 2016

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Legged Squad Support System can relieve troops of their 100-pound equipment load, take voice commands, and maneuver around obstacles, in addition to numerous other tasks in the field

    Commentary

    Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research findings on the effectiveness of correctional education in U.S. prisons; an exploration of how emerging technologies present an ongoing challenge to the criminal-justice community; and more.

    Jan 11, 2016

  • A flying police car hovers past city buildings

    Essay

    How Will Technology Change Criminal Justice?

    In perhaps no other field does society have as direct a stake in getting technology right as in policing. How will technology change the work that law enforcement agencies do and the communities they serve?

    Jan 7, 2016

  • Internet of Things graphic

    Commentary

    Keeping Hackers Away from Your Car, Fridge, and Front Door

    In the ever-growing Internet of Things, attackers already outpace the defenders. If developing solutions for software liability doesn't become more of a priority, there may be no winning this technological war.

    Dec 7, 2015