What to Expect From GAO’s New Science and Technology Office?

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced the formation of a new office to aid Congress in understanding science and technology matters. This office will be organized as a 15th mission team under GAO’s organization chart called “Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics” (STAA). Its work will focus on four key areas: Conducting technology assessments and providing technical services […]

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Stay Speculative: Designing Our Future

The future feels uncertain, now more than ever. As a species we face looming and unprecedented challenges and a growing awareness of — and fascination with — our shrinking proximity to existential risk. At the individual level, we are living through an  ‘accelerando’ of technological innovation, a ‘cambrian explosion’ of new tools, ideas, capabilities and […]

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Weapons of Mass Consumerism: Why China Wants Your Personal Information

by Joshua Geltzer and Bryan Jones On November 30, 2018, Marriott International acknowledged that “an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information” belonging to hundreds of millions of unique guests.  What looked like a now all-too-typical hacking incident took an even more disturbing turn when, just two weeks later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed […]

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The Policymaker’s Guide To Emerging Technologies

Twenty years ago this month, Virginia Postrel released her seminal techno-optimist classic, The Future and Its Enemies, in which she articulated two competing visions of the future: dynamism and stasism. The dynamist perspective, she argued, is characterized by a willingness to embrace the reality of an ever-changing world, welcoming the infinite possibilities offered by an ever-unfolding […]

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The Case for Our Better Angels

The social costs of technological advancement have caught up with us. As industry consolidation and automation combine, the externalities of doing digital business at scale are pulling into hyper-real focus: in India and the Philippines, deaths via social media-enabled mobs and elections ruled by misinformation and fear; in Myanmar, the use of Facebook by the […]

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