Science & Technology

92 Items

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. 

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship

Reimagining Investing in Frontier Technology

| June 12, 2019

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Technology and Public Purpose Project (TAPP) and Harvard Business School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship co-hosted Reimagining Investing in Frontier Technology on May 15, 2019. This workshop convened over 70 investors (Limited Partners and General Partners), entrepreneurs, technologists, and others investing in and building frontier technologies in areas including artificial intelligence, genome engineering, advanced computing technologies, and more. The workshop explored the challenges investors and entrepreneurs face in bringing products to market in ways that maximize their benefits to society while minimizing harms.

Paper

The Congressional Futures Office

    Authors:
  • Justin Warner
  • Grant Tudor
| May 2019

This report interrogates the widening gap between responsive lawmaking in Congress and the deepening complexity of advancements in science and technology. It finds that certain weakened capabilities have atrophied the organization’s absorptive capacity, or the ways by which it recognizes the value of, assimilates, and makes use of knowledge outside of itself. We propose the design of a new internal body—the Congressional Futures Office—as an optimal response among a set of considered options.