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.

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

    Commentary

    DIUx: Capturing Technological Innovation

    Nov 23, 2016

    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.

  • Police desk with crime case records containing a mobile phone, photos, and keys, photo by Extreme-Photographer/Getty Images

    Report

    Preparing the U.S. Legal System for Emerging Technologies

    Jan 10, 2017

    Personal technology gathers data that can be useful in criminal justice proceedings. But this can also pose challenges for protecting individual rights. Identifying future conflicts ahead of time can help.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • Report

    Wanxiang Innovation Energy Fusion City: Recommendations for Developing an Innovation Cluster

    RAND authors develop a mission statement and recommend policies to help achieve the Wanxiang Group's vision of developing the Wanxiang Innovation Energy Fusion City into an innovative cluster built around smart and green automotive technologies.

    Sep 20, 2017

  • Report

    Developing standards to support the synthetic biology value chain

    A study identifying the impact that adoption of synthetic biology is likely to have on the global marketplace as well as any existing barriers or obstacles preventing the rapid scale-up and commercialisation of the technology.

    Sep 11, 2017

  • A police body camera is worn by an officer during a news conference on the pilot program of body cameras involving 60 NYPD officers dubbed Big Brother at the NYPD police academy in Queens, New York, December 3, 2014

    Report

    Wearable Technologies for Law Enforcement

    Wearable technologies that could help officers in the field, such as flexible batteries and wireless charging, are available today at reasonable costs. Law enforcement agencies should work with manufacturers to provide input on future wearables.

    Sep 8, 2017

  • U.S. ground troops patrol while robots carry their equipment and drones serve as spotters

    Commentary

    Artificial Intelligence and the Military

    AI has many possible applications for the military, such as providing unpredictable and adaptive adversaries for training fighter pilots. Computer vision, the ability of software to understand photos and videos, could process data from surveillance systems. But what are the implications of AI adoption?

    Sep 7, 2017

  • Hacked internet of things

    Commentary

    Gaming Policy in Cyberspace

    Hacked devices and intellectual property theft are a rich hunting ground for policy development. The challenge posed by Internet-connect devices is only getting worse as the number of online devices continues to grow.

    Aug 23, 2017

  • Report

    Civic Engagement: How Can Digital Technology Encourage Greater Engagement in Civil Society?

    This Perspective explores the potential impacts that digital technologies may have on the nature of civic engagement and political processes, providing an overview of the opportunities and risks associated with the use of these technologies.

    Aug 7, 2017

  • A green globe illustration

    Q&A

    Global Risks in 2040: Q&A with Andrew Parasiliti

    Andrew Parasiliti discusses how the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security is envisioning the world in 2040, and the security challenges that will shape it.

    Jun 30, 2017

  • Syrian refugee Omayma al Hushan (2nd R), 14, who launched an initiative against child marriage among Syrian refugees, and her friends rehearse a play about it at a school in Al Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq, Jordan, April 21, 2016

    Commentary

    How Innovation Can Assist the Refugee 'Pathway'

    New ways to collaborate and coordinate humanitarian actions are needed so that refugees, host communities, and other stakeholders are empowered to create and spread innovative solutions. These efforts should consider the entire refugee pathway, not only emergency and arrival assistance.

    Jun 27, 2017

  • An artist's rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration between Earth and the moon

    Commentary

    Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

    May 16, 2017

  • A mobile phone with an app to control wireless devices in a smart home like a washing machine, security camera, door lock, and music player

    Commentary

    Using Digital Data in Criminal Investigations

    Personal devices such as smartphones and wearables gather and store personal data. How much of this “digital footprint” should be available for criminal investigations?

    May 15, 2017

  • Person consulting a smart watch with GPS technology

    Commentary

    Using Wearable Fitness Devices to Monitor More Than Just Fitness

    Manufacturers could reinvigorate the market for personal health devices by incorporating measures of health and well-being beyond step counts. Wearables could gauge a neighborhood's air quality, safety, or its level of social connectedness.

    May 14, 2017

  • Blockchain vector background with various icons

    Project

    The Potential Role of Standards in Supporting the Growth of Distributed Ledger Technologies/Blockchain

    RAND Europe informed the British Standards Institution's understanding of the current landscape of DLT/Blockchain and the priority areas for the UK regarding the development of standards, so BSI can develop a strategy to maximise the benefits of this technology for UK and global stakeholders.

    May 11, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD navigates around a dummy at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California June 1, 2016

    Commentary

    How California Is Trying to Keep Autonomous Vehicle Development on Track

    California's Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Will this help retain the state's status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer?

    Apr 10, 2017

  • An aerial view of Foster City, California, April 19, 2009

    Q&A

    Innovation in the Bay Area: Q&A with Nidhi Kalra

    Nidhi Kalra discusses what Silicon Valley startups and policy researchers have in common, whether test-driving autonomous vehicles could really prove their safety, and more.

    Mar 7, 2017

  • A man being interviewed by police in dark interrogation room

    Commentary

    What Data Is the Government Keeping About You?

    Governments are amassing a wealth of data on citizens, a trend that will continue as technology advances. But with no reliable way to ensure that the data is accurate, risks abound. In the criminal justice system, for example, poor quality data could affect individual freedoms and employability.

    Mar 1, 2017

  • Cyber gavel illustration

    Commentary

    Does the Court System Know as Much About ESI as Your Teenager? It Should.

    Electronically stored information (ESI) from smart appliances, fitness trackers, and other devices is making its way into the U.S. court system. Judges and lawyers need to better understand this evidence so they can challenge it or rule on its admissibility in court.

    Feb 21, 2017

  • A teacher pointing to a student for talking in class

    Commentary

    Body Cameras on Teachers Are Not the Answer to Classroom Management

    Teachers at two schools in England are wearing body cameras as part of a pilot program aimed at stopping classroom disruption. How they use the cameras could be counter-productive and may even escalate disruptive situations.

    Feb 13, 2017

  • News Release

    Rise of Technology in Criminal Proceedings Poses Risk to Protecting Individuals' Rights

    Personal devices like fitness trackers and smartphones are likely to be used increasingly in criminal investigations. Such technology offers new tools to law enforcement, but raises unique issues regarding constitutional rights such as self-incrimination.

    Jan 10, 2017

  • The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, taken from an airplane in January 2008

    Commentary

    Approaching Future Offsets

    Grand strategy, acquisitions, and technological considerations may shape the debate about the future of the U.S. military for some time to come. Only where all three elements align are future offsets likely to succeed.

    Dec 21, 2016