Emerging Technologies: Implications and Prospects of their Proliferation | Julie George


William J. Perry Conference Room

  • Julie George

Seminar Recording

About the Event: Under what conditions do dual-use emerging technologies proliferate in the international system? While the fourth industrial revolution (Information and Communications Technology revolution) is often associated with big data, I argue that emerging technologies should also be known for their level of prominence, complexity, unparalleled connectivity, enhanced performance, and uncertainty compared to traditional technologies. Leveraging open-source, multi-year data consisting of about two million observations from the National Science Foundation, arXiv, Small Business Innovation Research, and Department of Defense’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation program, I first share an illustrative example differentiating frontier, emerging, and mature technologies with quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and GPS respectively. After providing conceptualizations of technologies, I then outline the conceptualization and operationalization of the outcome variable, proliferation. Proliferation includes two stages, specifically possession and the operationality of the emerging technology. In putting forth a novel definition of emerging technologies, this paper includes extensive and robust empirical analysis of patents through the World Intellectual Property Organization, investment via Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and publications via arXiv, awards via the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the National Science Foundation. Overall, scholarly attention to emerging technologies is increasingly important as these innovations continue to take shape and impact the nature of national and international security.

About the Speaker: Julie George is a PhD Candidate in the Government department at Cornell University, specializing in international security. Broadly, her doctoral research examines the proliferation of emerging technologies and its impact on the probability and nature of conflict and cooperation in the international system. This focus has led her to engage a broad selection of scholarship across science and technology studies, history, international organizations, and law. Currently, she is a predoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) at Stanford University. More information regarding Julie’s research can be found at www.juliexgeorge.com.

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