The TechLab Narrative

Occasional commentary and musings from the researchers in Pardee RAND's TNL.

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

    Augmented Reality on the Playground

    Jul 10, 2019

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

  • College student using a laptop, photo by jacoblund/Getty Images

    Federal Policy Might Encourage Innovation to Cut the Cost of College

    Jun 5, 2019

    A big factor in the rise of college costs is the traditional seat-time model requiring undergraduate students to spend a specified amount of time in classrooms, frequently with doctorally qualified faculty. Prof. Charles Goldman argues that alternative models such as online education could enable colleges and universities to offer degrees more efficiently and affordably.

  • Close-up of a person reading/texting on their smartphone, photo by sam thomas/Getty Images

    Three Takeaways from RAND's Analysis of News in the Digital Age

    May 14, 2019

    How has the rise of digital technology shaped the way that news is presented? Student Mahlet Tebeka (cohort '17), alum Steve Davenport ('15), and professors Jennifer Kavanagh and Bill Marcellino conducted an empirical study to find out. Here's what you need to know from their findings.

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

    What the Speed of Life Means for Security and Society

    Mar 6, 2019

    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. Prof. Casey Bouskill says society will have to adapt, on the fly, in ways it never has. The speed of life itself could pose a security challenge.

  • Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering, image by sdecoret/Adobe Stock

    The Promise and Perils of AI: Q&A with Douglas Yeung

    Feb 27, 2019

    Prof. Douglas Yeung, a social psychologist at RAND, discusses how any technology reflects the values, norms, and biases of its creators. Bias in artificial intelligence could have unintended consequences. He also warns that cyber attackers could deliberately introduce bias into AI systems.

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

    Biology, in the Language of the People

    Feb 21, 2019

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

  • Jair Aguirre and John Davis discuss cyber attribution

    Promoting Accountability in Cyberspace

    Jan 14, 2019

    The attribution of a malicious cyber incident consists of identifying the responsible party behind the activity. Professors Jair Aguirre, Ben Boudreaux, and John Davis recommend creating an independent, international cyber attribution consortium tasked with investigating and publicly attributing major cyber attacks.

  • Artificial eye looking through greenery

    Does the United States Face an AI Ethics Gap?

    Jan 11, 2019

    The view that the United States is in an artificial intelligence (AI) arms race suggests an AI ethics gap. Prof. Benjamin Boudreaux says the U.S. may face a higher ethical hurdle than its adversaries when developing and deploying AI in military contexts. But, he adds, the gap could be a source of U.S. strength in building international partnerships.

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

    Pardee RAND Reimagines the Future of Public Policy Problem Solving

    Jan 7, 2019

    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.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018

    Data Breaches Could Cause Users to Opt Out of Sharing Personal Data. Then What?

    Dec 28, 2018

    As tech-based systems have become all but indispensable, many institutions might assume user data will be reliable, meaningful and, most of all, plentiful. Prof. Doug Yeung asks, what if this data became unreliable, meaningless, or even scarce?

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

    A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Aug 28, 2018

    Unleashed in Santa Monica last September, Bird and its competitors are now in more than 30 American cities—and are being met with new regulations and increased law enforcement. Student Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Prof. Rob Lempert write that, if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

  • Face detection and recognition

    Keeping Artificial Intelligence Accountable to Humans

    Aug 20, 2018

    Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are often only as intelligent—and as fair—as the data used to train them. Prof. Osonde Osoba explains that, for AI that can free humans from bias instead of reinforcing bias, experts and regulators will need to think more deeply not only about what AI can do, but what it should do—and then teach it how.

  • A desk with 3D printing technology on top

    Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Jul 31, 2018

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. But the growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable, write student Luke Irwin (cohort '16) and professors Troy Smith and Trevor Johnston. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

  • Conceptual image of human voice

    Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

    Jan 8, 2018

    New technology can convincingly fake the human voice and create security nightmares, writes Prof. Bill Welser. Considering the widespread distrust of the media, institutions and expert gatekeepers, audio fakery could be more than disruptive. It could start wars.