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.

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

    Essay

    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 8, 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

  • 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

  • Circuit board with chip with image of missile, photo by guirong hao/Getty Images

    Commentary

    AI for Peace

    The United States should apply lessons from the 70-year history of governing nuclear technology by building a framework for governing AI military technology. An AI for Peace program should articulate the dangers of this new technology, principles to manage the dangers, and a structure to shape the incentives for other states.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on a Hektoen enteric agar plate, photo by CDC via Reuters

    Report

    New Perils for Global Health Security

    There are two main threats to global health security. The first is the presence of slow-burn problems that may not receive enough attention—until it's too late. The second: emerging technologies that have beneficial uses but can also be weaponized.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • U.S. Marines with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a field exercise (FEX) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Oct. 22, 2019, photo by Sgt. Miguel A. Rosales/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    First, Manage Security Threats to Machine Learning

    Deception is as old as warfare itself. Until now, the targets of deception operations have been humans. But the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence opens up a whole new world of opportunities to deceive by targeting machines.

    Nov 4, 2019

  • Artificial intelligence concept with face, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Commentary

    AI and Irregular Warfare: An Evolution, Not a Revolution

    How will artificial intelligence change the way wars are fought? The answer, of course, depends. And it mainly depends on what type of wars are being fought. And how will AI affect the type of wars that the United States is most likely to fight?

    Oct 31, 2019

  • Report

    Leveraging Technology to Enhance Community Supervision: Identifying Needs to Address Current and Emerging Concerns

    An expert workshop of correctional administrators and researchers explored how technology can be used to address key challenges faced by community corrections agencies.

    Oct 28, 2019

  • Artificial intelligence concept, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Military Deception: AI's Killer App?

    Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Digital concept of a brain, photo by Vertigo3d/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Our Future Lies in Making AI Robust and Verifiable

    We are hurtling towards a future in which AI is omnipresent. This AI-enabled future is blinding in its possibilities for prosperity, security, and well-being. Yet, it is also crippling in its fragility. What might it take for it all to come to a screeching halt?

    Oct 22, 2019