16 Items

drawing of math problems

N. Hanacek/NIST

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

Technology Primer: Post-Quantum Cryptography

    Editors:
  • Boaz Barak
  • Lily Chen
  • Jack Hidary
  • Vinod Vaikuntanathan
| June 23, 2023

Quantum computers pose a threat to conventional cryptography, putting our information and communication systems at risk. In an effort to sustain the privacy and integrity of our data ecosystems, researchers are turning to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). This publication describes how PQC works, and the governance, application, and public purpose considerations for implementing PQC. 

Steam rises from a coal-fired power plant.

AP Photo/Michael Probst

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

Technology Primer: Direct Air Capture

    Editors:
  • Howard Herzog
  • Peter Psarras
| June 09, 2023

Direct air capture (DAC) is a type of technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from the air. As the negative impacts of climate change become ever more apparent, governments and private industries have funneled increasing support toward DAC as a critical pathway toward achieving a net-zero future. Although a promising technology, wide-scale deployment of DAC faces several significant challenges.

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

Technology Primer: Smart Wearables and Health

    Editors:
  • Zhenan Bao
  • Lisa Cadmus-Bertram
  • Charles Odonkor
  • Jessica Rich
  • David A. Simon
  • Ariel D. Stern
| June 05, 2023

Smart wearables are quickly becoming the next wave of ubiquitous technologies due to their vast market penetration and broad utility. In the healthcare setting, smart wearables may be used to advance preventative health measures, emergency medicine, and primary care. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that healthcare is done, but major technical and nontechnical limitations exist and the regulation of these technologies is still underdeveloped.

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

Technology Primer: Augmented and Virtual Reality for the Metaverse

    Editors:
  • Micaela Mantegna
  • Tibor Merey
  • Greg Pryor
  • John Yang
| Apr. 24, 2023

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), typically accessed through smartphones and headset devices, allow users to access a shared virtual environment, often referred to as a metaverse. While major companies make multibillion dollar bets on the metaverse, regulation and governance structures are still underdeveloped. In this technology primer, we dive into the technology, use cases, governance, and public purpose considerations of AR and VR for the Metaverse.

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

To Break the Standstill of Social Media Governance, We Need Industry Standards

| Apr. 13, 2023

The current strategy for digital platform governance is fragmented, ad hoc, and politicized; the United States has barely moved the needle on an organized governance strategy to improve consumer welfare and communal wellbeing online. Industry-wide voluntary standard setting offers a path forward to ensure we have expert-led processes, measurements, and best practices to elevate safety and quality on digital platforms, while paving the way for comprehensive U.S. federal rules and enforcement. 

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

Technology Primer: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

    Editors:
  • Nicolas Christin
  • Susan Ritchie
  • Daniel Zhang
| Apr. 06, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI), and specifically machine learning (ML), is becoming increasingly prominent in the day-to-day lives of most people through commercial ready products, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT. In this technology primer, we dive into the technology, use cases, governance, and public purpose considerations of AI and ML. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with a payload a of Starlink satellites for a high-speed low earth orbit internet constellation, lifts off from launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, July 17, 2022.

AP Photo/John Raoux

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

Starlink and the Russia-Ukraine War: A Case of Commercial Technology and Public Purpose?

| Mar. 09, 2023

The commercial space technology Starlink grabbed headlines in the wake of the Russian-Ukraine war. Just two days into the conflict, Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, the company that operates Starlink, agreed to supply Ukraine with the technology to ensure they had reliable internet connectivity and communication. Starlink has since been touted as critical in the war effort, but it has not come without hazards.

President Joe Biden holds the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022” after signing it during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Washington.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Series Examines CHIPS and Science Act Potential and Challenges

| Fall 2022

This fall, the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project hosted a six part study group led by Doug Calidas, Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and TAPP non-resident fellow, titled “Policy for the Endless Frontier: Origins and Ambitions for the CHIPS and Science Act.”

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

Technology Primer: Social Media Recommendation Algorithms

| Aug. 25, 2022

The use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok is increasingly widespread, currently amounting to billions of users worldwide. Social media companies deploy proprietary recommendation algorithms to automate the selection, ranking, and presentation of content on the platform’s “feed” or recommended content section, every time a user opens or refreshes the site or app. However, social media recommendation algorithms have a range of privacy, security, information quality, and psychological concerns for users. 

A successful approach to the regulation of social media recommendation algorithms will require a combination of government regulation, self governance, and external oversight to facilitate value alignment across these diverse actors and tackle the various challenges associated with this technology. This publication explores the technical components of social media recommendation systems, as well as their public purpose considerations.