Emerging Technologies

Featured

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.

  • Kathryn Bouskill, a social scientist at RAND, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Content

    What the Speed of Life Means for Security and Society

    Mar 6, 2019

    Dozens of technologies with the power to transform human life, from 3D printing to cognitive implants, could become as ordinary as a cellphone by 2040. Society will have to adapt, on the fly, in ways it never has. The speed of life itself could pose a security challenge.

  • Graphic depicting quantum computing, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

    Apr 9, 2020

    Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • A man using wearable sensor technology, photo by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

    Report

    Law Enforcement Could Benefit from Wearable Sensor Technology

    Wearable sensor technology devices are not yet developed for law enforcement purposes, but they have potential to equip agencies with data to improve officer safety, health, and well-being. Now is the time for law enforcement to participate in the development process.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • Graphic depicting a man surrounded by potential Internet of Bodies health devices, graphic by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    The Internet of Bodies Will Change Everything, for Better or Worse

    The rise of devices that connect the human body to the web is accelerating rapidly. This Internet of Bodies could revolutionize health care and improve our quality of life. But without appropriate guardrails, it could also jeopardize our most intimate personal information and introduce several ethical concerns.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • In this video, RAND mathematician Mary Lee examines emerging Internet of Bodies (IoB) technologies.

    Multimedia

    What Is the Internet of Bodies?

    RAND mathematician Mary Lee examines technologies that make up the Internet of Bodies (IoB); explores their benefits, risks, and ethical implications; surveys the regulatory landscape; and makes recommendations to balance IoB risks and rewards.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • Graphic depicting people using brain-computer interface technology to communicate

    Article

    Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Coming. Will We Be Ready?

    Brain-computer interfaces give humans the ability to directly control machines with their minds. Before this emerging technology matures, it's important for developers to weigh the opportunities against the risks.

    Aug 27, 2020

  • Human brain partially consists of circuit board, photo by Prostock-studio/AdobeStock

    Report

    Brain-Computer Interfaces: An Initial Assessment

    Brain-computer interfaces allow humans to communicate directly with machines. This technology may eventually be used to monitor a soldier's cognitive workload, control a drone swarm, or link with a prosthetic. But potential risks should be considered before the technology is widely deployed.

    Aug 27, 2020

  • A woman getting authenticated by facial recognition technology, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND 20/20: Governing by Artificial Intelligence

    In this remote video conversation, RAND's Osonde A. Osoba discusses the use of AI systems in governance processes—from facial recognition technologies in state surveillance applications to risk-predictive tools applied in the criminal justice system. Brandon Baker hosts.

    Jul 30, 2020

  • Astronauts on a planet looking at outer space, illustration by yogysic/Getty Images

    Blog

    How Accurate Were Predictions for the Future?

    Anticipating the risks and opportunities posed by all kinds of change is a RAND specialty. In 1964, using RAND's now-famous Delphi method, experts pondered topics like medical advancements, space, artificial intelligence, and controlling the weather.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Silhouette of a soldier wearing equipment with A.I. on the horizon, photo by U.S. Army

    Commentary

    Considering Military Culture and Values When Adopting AI

    As the U.S. military contemplates increasing the number and diversity of AI and other autonomous systems, it should consider timely means of mitigating any potential negative side effects.

    Jun 22, 2020

  • Blog

    Protests and Police Reform, Facial Recognition, Gun Policies: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on protests and police reform after the killing of George Floyd, facial recognition bans, gun policies that likely reduce deaths, and more.

    Jun 19, 2020

  • Profile with fingerprint on a red background, photo by malerapaso/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Bans on Facial Recognition Are Naive. Hold Law Enforcement Accountable for Its Abuse

    Broader police reform may be difficult to achieve. But in the long run, it will be more effective than any specific technology ban.

    Jun 17, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Assessing the Impacts of Digital Government Transformation in the EU: Conceptual Framework and Empirical Case Studies

    Researchers developed an original conceptual framework for assessing the impacts of Digital Government transformation in the EU. Case studies in different policy areas and EU countries were then used to test and validate it.

    Jun 12, 2020

  • Health care professional using a tablet with graphical images, photo by Cecilie_Arcurs/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Harness Technologies in the Fight Against COVID-19

    The pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis. But the response from science, technology, and innovation communities has been remarkable. It proves that innovation and learning, interdisciplinary methods and collaboration, information and data sharing, and adaptability are more important than ever.

    Jun 2, 2020

  • Patrick Roberts on AI Regulation

    Multimedia

    How Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

    RAND's Patrick Roberts discusses important factors to consider in developing a set of norms for the regulation of artificial intelligence.

    May 20, 2020

  • News Release

    Future Quantum Computers May Pose Threat to Today's Most-Secure Communications

    Quantum computers that are exponentially faster than any of our current classical computers and are capable of code-breaking applications could be available in 12 to 15 years, posing major risks to the security of current communications systems.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Green glowing qubits, computer generated abstract background, 3D rendering, photo by sakkmesterke/AdobeStock

    Report

    Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age

    Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computing. But hackers may be able to use them to crack the encryption system that protects all digital communications. How soon could this scenario become a reality? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Pope Francis gestures as he speaks during the weekly general audience at Vatican, February 26, 2020, photo by Remo Casilli/Reuters

    Commentary

    Catholic Church and Tech Companies Join to Call for Transparency in AI

    The Catholic Church joined with technology companies in February to release the “Rome Call for AI Ethics,” which it hopes will lend meaning if not governance frameworks for the use of artificial intelligence. Making sure that “everyone can benefit” from AI by making its discoveries widely available will be important. This is perhaps where the church can be most effective.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Report

    Court Appearances in Criminal Proceedings Through Telepresence: Identifying Research and Practice Needs to Preserve Fairness While Leveraging New Technology

    In 2018, the Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative convened a workshop to explore the use of telepresence technology in the courtroom. Participants expressed the need for research-driven utilization to ensure that its full potential is realized.

    Jan 20, 2020

  • AI playing chess, Photo by Fotomek/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Chess Can Teach Us About the Future of AI and War

    Will artificial intelligence (AI) change warfare? It's hard to say. AI itself is not new, but AI as a critical factor in competitions is relatively novel and, as a result, there's not much data to draw from. Perhaps the most interesting examples are in the world of chess.

    Jan 3, 2020

  • Montage of best RAND videos of 2019, image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Multimedia

    Best RAND Videos of 2019

    At RAND, we examine complex issues in dozens of policy areas. And when our researchers aren't busy coming up with solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, sometimes they step in front of the camera to highlight their findings. Here are our top videos of 2019.

    Dec 20, 2019