Science & Technology

96 Items

A view of the interior of the U.S. Capitol building

Benn Craig

Report

Building a 21st Century Congress: Improving STEM Policy Advice in the Emerging Technology Era

| November 2020

Many congressional personal offices and committees are already staffed by smart, public-spirited scientists and technologists, and Congress can draw on outside experts to inform its legislation and its hearings. But none of the interviewees for this report or our previous report, argued that the status quo worked as well as it should; no one thought that Congress had enough STEM expertise to effectively reckon with emerging technology issues. Everyone—from members of Congress to their staffers, from non-profit leaders to private sector professionals, from generalists to STEM professionals—thought that Congress can do better. 

An abstract design

N. Hanacek/NIST

Policy Brief

The Public-Purpose Consortium: Enabling Emerging Technology with a Public Mission

| October 2020

We are at a moment in time where cooperation between public-purpose stakeholders and profit-motive stakeholders can be an effective means of integrating public purpose into technology as it emerges. This brief covers the basic concept of a public-purpose consortium (PPC), examination of what combination of factors lead to their use for emerging technologies, and considers the key principles for organizing PPCs and enabling their success: Build Community, Enable Cooperation, Ensure Value, Institute Governance, and Keep It Lightweight.

Members of the Faculty Working Group discuss the public purpose implications of emerging technologies.

Benn Craig

Report

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2019-2020

| September 2020

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.  

Paper

Responsible Investing in Tech and Venture Capital

| September 2020

Historically, venture capital firms have been the first investors in many of the world’s largest and most influential companies. The business model, culture, and values of global companies are often shaped in the early years of a company’s development, and venture capital firms as the first investors and board members play an important role in this process. 

In the last few years, the world’s largest tech companies have run into major challenges in managing societal issues—the result of which has been governments, media, and activists taking a much deeper look how foundational values and cultures were shaped.

This discussion paper highlights several challenges and some potential solutions for advancing the management of societal impacts of venture capital firms and portfolio companies. 

A Watrix employee works at his desk in their company’s offices in Beijing, October 31, 2018. Watrix, a Chinese technology startup hopes to begin selling software that recognizes people by their body shape and how they walk, enabling identification when faces are hidden from cameras.

AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein

Paper - Project Syndicate

Is China Beating the U.S. to AI Supremacy?

| August 2020

Combining decades of experience advancing frontier technologies, on the one hand, and analyzing national security decisionmaking, on the other, we have been collaborating over the past year in an effort to understand the national security implications of China’s great leap forward in artificial intelligence (AI). Our purpose in this essay is to sound an alarm over China’s rapid progress and the current prospect of it overtaking the United States in applying AI in the decade ahead; to explain why AI is for the autocracy led by the Chinese Communist Party (hereafter, the “Party”) an existential priority; to identify key unanswered questions about the dangers of an unconstrained AI arms race between the two digital superpowers; and to point to the reasons why we believe that this is a race the United States can and must win.

Ash Carter discusses science and technology challenges facing Congress with a group of Congressional staffers.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Bridging Congress’s Science/Technology Expertise Gap

| Fall/Winter 2019-2020

The Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project, headed by Laura Manley, conducted interviews, surveys, focus groups, and secondary research to understand how Congress can simultaneously be one of the world’s most advised bodies and lack the capacity to fully engage with emerging technology issues.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Military-Technological Imitation and Rising Powers

| Fall 2019

Michael C. Horowitz and Shahryar Pasandideh respond to Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli’s winter 2018/19 article, “Why China Has Not Caught Up Yet: Military-Technological Superiority and the Limits of Imitation, Reverse Engineering, and Cyber Espionage.”

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Building a 21st Century Congress: Improving Congress’s Science and Technology Expertise

| September 2019

While members of Congress in both chambers often produce thoughtful legislation on established science and technology issues, in legislation and high-profile hearings, Congress has appeared unprepared to reckon with emerging technologies and their effects on society. 

teaser image

Paper

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2018-2019

| September 2019

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.