Until recently, research into science and technology was funded primarily by governments. Today, technological breakthroughs are being driven primarily by private firms funded with venture capital. This change in the R&D landscape is leaving governments and international organizations scrambling to craft oversight tools and policies that will help manage the disruptive impacts—and possible threats—resulting from rapid-fire technical advance.
The March/April issue of the Bulletin’s digital journal grapples with innovations in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, and a host of other fields that are challenging society’s ability to establish the rules and norms necessary to keep global populations safe from unintended negative consequences of technological progress.
And this issue’s Nuclear Notebook–a look at Russian Nuclear Forces, 2017— could not be more timely: Will the shrinking of Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal that has characterized the past two decades come to an end?
Here’s what you need to know:
(Automated) planning for tomorrow: Will artificial intelligence get smarter? Edward Moore Geist
Glaring gaps: America needs a biodefense upgrade
Daniel M. Gerstein
The third offset strategy: A misleading slogan
Lawrence J. Korb and Carly Evans
The upside and downside of swarming drones
As technology goes democratic, nations lose military control
Ben FitzGerald and Jacqueline Parziale
Soft law: New tools for governing emerging technologies
Gary E. Marchant and Brad Allenby
IARPA Director Jason Matheny advances tech tools for US espionage
Russian nuclear forces, 2017
Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris
China’s proper role in the global nuclear order: A US response
China’s proper role in the global nuclear order: An Indian response
Death from above: The perils of lethal drone strikes
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