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

  • People play Pokémon Go at El Olivar park in the San Isidro district of Lima, Peru, September 2, 2016, photo by Mariana Bazo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Augmented Reality on the Playground

    As children's screen time increases, their time spent outdoors decreases. How might new technologies merge with nature to help kids get outside and be more active?

    Jul 10, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Advanced Robotics: Implications of Game-Changing Technologies in the Services Sector in Europe

    The potential socioeconomic implications and applicability of game-changing technologies to the European services sector, covering: advanced robotics; autonomous transport devices; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and wearable devices.

    Jun 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Blockchain: Implications of Game-Changing Technologies in the Services Sector in Europe

    The potential socioeconomic implications and applicability of game-changing technologies to the European services sector, covering: advanced robotics; autonomous transport devices; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and wearable devices.

    Jun 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Autonomous Transport Devices: Implications of Game-Changing Technologies in the Services Sector in Europe

    The potential socioeconomic implications and applicability of game-changing technologies to the European services sector, covering: advanced robotics; autonomous transport devices; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and wearable devices.

    Jun 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Virtual and Augmented Reality: Implications of Game-Changing Technologies in the Services Sector in Europe

    The potential socioeconomic implications and applicability of game-changing technologies to the European services sector, covering: advanced robotics; autonomous transport devices; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and wearable devices.

    Jun 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Wearable Devices: Implications of Game-Changing Technologies in the Services Sector in Europe

    The potential socioeconomic implications and applicability of game-changing technologies to the European services sector, covering: advanced robotics; autonomous transport devices; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and wearable devices.

    Jun 25, 2019

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Oversight of emerging science and technology: Lessons from history to guide future developments

    To help inform decisions about emerging science and technology oversight in the future, RAND Europe studied ten examples of oversight spanning different countries, time periods, and science and technology areas, and identified eight key lessons.

    Jun 14, 2019

  • Abstract curly tendrils, photo by gremlin/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Eight Lessons to Inform the Future Oversight of Emerging Science and Technology

    The prospect of Brexit has prompted much discussion about the future of science and technology in the UK. Effective oversight systems are crucial. They could help to create public trust and minimize risks, while allowing emerging science and technology, along with the businesses that arise from them, to flourish.

    Apr 11, 2019

  • Report

    Report

    Oversight of emerging science and technology: Learning from past and present efforts around the world

    To help inform decisions about emerging science and technology oversight in the future, RAND Europe studied ten examples of oversight spanning different countries, time periods, and science and technology areas, and identified eight key lessons.

    Mar 20, 2019

  • Blog

    ISIS, Women's Day, Army Privates: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what to do about ISIS detainees, stories from the Army's junior ranks, International Women's Day, and more.

    Mar 8, 2019

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

    Essay

    What the Speed of Life Means for Security and Society

    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.

    Mar 6, 2019

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2019

    This issue explores resilience and adaptation strategies researchers can pursue to address the impacts of climate change; security challenges posed by artificial intelligence and the speed at which technology is transforming society; and more.

    Mar 4, 2019

  • Young Asian woman looking at an eye scanner image, photo by Photographer is my life/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Biology, in the Language of the People

    As technology and the ability to gather ever-growing amounts of data move further into the realms of biology and human performance, communication and transparency become increasingly important. Experts should consider whether they are using the words, examples, and models that connect with a broad audience most effectively.

    Feb 21, 2019

  • Pardee RAND students shared their Tech Lab Pilot projects during a 2017 open house

    Essay

    Pardee RAND Reimagines the Future of Public Policy Problem Solving

    The Pardee RAND Graduate School is taking a new approach to public policy education. Three new streams of study and action will better align with today's policy needs. Faculty and students will shift the focus from coming up with solutions to actually implementing them.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Multimedia

    Healing the Invisible Wounds of War with Virtual Reality

    In this episode of Veterans in America, we hear the story of Joe Merritt, a former Marine and Army National Guard soldier, and learn about an effective evidence-based treatment for PTSD: virtual reality exposure therapy.

    Nov 8, 2018

  • RAND's Kathryn Bouskill speaks at a TEDxManhattanBeach event.

    Multimedia

    Why We Should Control the Speed of Life

    RAND's Kathryn Bouskill discusses the accelerating pace of nearly every aspect of our lives, and the societal and security challenges it presents.

    Nov 3, 2018

  • Car driving autonomously with LIDAR sensor

    Commentary

    The New AV Challenge: Creating a Universal Safety Framework

    Autonomous vehicle developers are pursuing different safety strategies and technologies, making different claims, in different ways, about their systems. A universal framework could provide a more consistent and transparent view of progress in AV safety within and across the industry, better informing the public and policymakers.

    Nov 2, 2018

  • Processor pins of a microchip

    Commentary

    Examining the Weak Spots in Tech's Supply Chain Armor

    When an attack on the supply chain occurs, manufacturers and purchasers should be better positioned to respond and recover. Even the simplest devices can rely on parts from multiple suppliers, which may have their own suppliers and so on. But every supplier, no matter how small, represents a potential weak link in the chain.

    Oct 16, 2018

  • Woman's eye with technology of security concept

    Commentary

    The Perils of Connecting Our Bodies to the Internet

    High-tech health care solutions are part of an emerging sector of medical technologies that monitor personal health data by essentially connecting your body to the Internet. As smart devices in health care evolve, the line between human and machine is blurring, and creating new concerns about consumer safety and privacy rights.

    Oct 15, 2018

  • Bird scooters outside a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, July 23, 2018

    Commentary

    A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica, California, last September, Bird and its competitors are now in 30 American cities and counting. Cities are responding to the scooter takeover with new regulations and increased law enforcement. But if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

    Aug 28, 2018