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.

  • 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

    Oct 29, 2020

    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.

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

    Article

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

    Aug 27, 2020

    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.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • Autonomous vehicles driving on a city road with a graphic circle representing sensors. Photo by JIRAROJ PRADITCHAROENKUL / Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Older Adults, New Mobility, and Automated Vehicles

    New technologies for mobility could improve access for older Americans or pass them by. Research and action are needed to promote benefits for older and other Americans.

    Feb 18, 2021

  • Ramesh Raskar, who invented a camera that operates at the speed of light to see around corners and do-it-yourself tools for medical imaging of the eye, photo by Len Rubenstein, courtesy of the Lemelson-MIT Program

    Report

    What Is the Value of Invention?

    Inventions help people around the world live longer, healthier, and more-productive lives. The inventions of Lemelson-MIT Prize winners are good examples that illustrate the scientific, technological, economic, and social impacts that inventions can have on society.

    Feb 11, 2021

  • Smart city and communication network concept, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Tech Alone Isn't Enough to Create a Successful Smart City

    Smart-city initiatives are popping up in small communities and large metropolitan regions alike. But these initiatives have run into significant hurdles. Some cities have developed frameworks to overcome these challenges, but many continue to struggle.

    Feb 10, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Deceive the Enemy with Emerging Technologies

    By using technology to deceive and confuse adversaries, the U.S. Navy can gain a competitive edge.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Use of Public Engagement for Technological Innovation: Literature Review and Case Studies

    This research report synthesises recent evidence, in the form of a literature review and case studies, on the use of public engagement for technological innovation.

    Jan 29, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Smart Cities as Large Technological Systems: Overcoming Organizational Challenges in Smart Cities Through Collective Action

    In this article, we argue that the main challenges policymakers confront in deploying 'smart cities' technologies are organizational rather than technological.

    Jan 26, 2021

  • Digital image of heads with padlocks, photo by maxkabakov/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Now Could Be the Time to Form Policy for Emerging Brain- and Body-Enhancement Technologies

    Policymakers might consider developing appropriate policy frameworks for emerging brain- and body-enhancement technologies to ensure that innovations harnessed for societal, economic, or military benefits do not create new vulnerabilities and that governments adequately defend and manage against potential attacks. The technology is quickly moving forward. Policy may need to play catch-up.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Impact of New and Emerging Technologies on the Cyber Threat Landscape and Their Implications for NATO

    This paper discusses a selection of new and emerging technologies with potentially disruptive effects, particularly concerning cyber threats that may stem from their maturation and use over the next decade.

    Jan 12, 2021

  • An illustration of a pacemaker in a person's chest, image by peterschreiber.media/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Are We Ready for the Internet of Bodies?

    Any device can be hacked, including one inside the human body. We need to think through the privacy and security implications of devices that live with us. But we should also consider the life-changing, life-saving potential of technologies that know us inside and out.

    Jan 8, 2021

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    How could technological developments influence the future of cybercrime?

    How could technological developments influence the future of cybercrime? RAND Europe investigated this policy question and identified possible approaches to prevent future technologies from being exploited for criminal purposes.

    Dec 16, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    The Future of Cybercrime in Light of Technology Developments

    RAND Europe conducted a study to: 1. Analyse future technologies and how these could be used to commit or prevent cybercrimes. 2. Propose ways to prevent future technologies from being exploited for criminal purposes.

    Dec 16, 2020

  • Blog

    Supporting Working Women, the Intelligence Community, Refugees: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting America's working women, challenges facing the next Director of National Intelligence, how Syria's forever war is creating forever refugees, and more.

    Dec 4, 2020

  • A lightbulb depicting innovation and technology, photo by Blackboard/Adobe Stock

    Report

    China's Propensity for Innovation in the 21st Century

    China aspires to be a major creator of new technologies and novel value-adding applications for those that already exist. How far will China be able to go toward achieving this goal? And what information is needed to better understand China’s propensity for innovation?

    Dec 3, 2020

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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