Technology & Innovation
OverviewTechnological advances have transformed the human experience and have led to vast increases in well-being. These advances require a policy framework that does not hinder technological progress, as well as a culture that welcomes innovation. We are currently focusing on these three areas of technology and innovation:
The Case for InnovationTechnology has the potential to continue to provide dramatic increases in well-being for all Americans. But not all disruption is welcomed. Increasing automation, shifting norms regarding employment, artificial intelligence, and other technological changes can come with increased public concern about the future of labor and public safety. In order to preserve a culture of permissionless innovation that facilitates technological progress, we must address how innovation improves well-being.
Digital Free SpeechThe availability of information is a critical element of a free society. As conversations move online, the design, structure, and legal rights and obligations of those forums must enable free speech and civil discourse. Free speech, data, privacy, and encryption are also deeply intertwined. In order to have meaningful free speech and association, individuals must be able to communicate legally and securely through digital means. Without meaningful privacy and strong encryption, rights of expression will be chilled. This digital transition also provides an opportunity for private firms to use big data to unleash significant technological advancements.
Industries Ripe for DisruptionMany areas of our economy are ripe for technological disruption, but outdated legal frameworks often hinder potential advances.
- Health Care: Current medical regulations should adapt to potentially life-saving innovations such as wearables and other devices, pharmacological advances, virtual reality, genetic testing, and the sharing economy, allowing patients and their doctors to make responsible choices for individual circumstances.
- Financial: Provided they are not overregulated, new forms of payment, contracting, investment, financing, and insurance have the potential to transform the financial services industry by reducing or eliminating the costs of exchange. These new financial tools can lower barriers and increase exchanges in ways that were not previously possible. For example, blockchain technology can enable direct financial transactions as well as facilitate greater public accountability.
- Manufacturing: New forms of manufacturing, such as 3-D printing, and new material advances have the potential to improve the daily lives of individuals. We often do not consider these types of technological advances, but they are found in products we all use every day and can lead to improved goods for all.
- Transportation: Driverless cars, drones, and transportation network companies are just some of the significant recent developments in transportation. As those technologies expand, the potential benefits to individuals and firms can be stymied by outdated regulatory barriers and crony opposition.
From the Blog
By Rick Barton | September 23, 2016
Services like Flytenow and technology for supersonic flights could have vastly improved air travel in terms of cost, speed, and ease. Yet regulations have stalled these innovations. The history of human transportation is a story of innovation. From the wheel to the airplane, improvements in our ability to move goods and people are driven by […]Read More
By Editorial Team | September 21, 2016
While it is unlikely that anyone would face federal charges for borrowing or sharing a Netflix password, recent court rulings of the CFAA, the federal anti-hacking law, imply that seemingly simple actions could make someone a felon. Do you stream Netflix on your own account or are you borrowing a password from a friend? How […]Read More
By Editorial Team | August 5, 2016
Drones will soon deliver medicine and blood to remote areas in Maryland, Nevada, and Washington. California-based company Zipline, which began operations in Rwanda in July, is looking to equalize health outcomes in rural areas of the United States. Amar Toor, writing for The Verge, reports that following Zipline’s partnership with Rwanda, the White House expressed […]Read More
By Editorial Team | August 1, 2016
The auto insurance industry is preparing for a future of autonomous vehicles. Leslie Scism writes for The Wall Street Journal that in 2015 car insurers brought in $200 billion in premiums. However, as much as 80 percent of that revenue may disappear in the next several decades due to the adoption of autonomous vehicle technologies, […]Read More
By Editorial Team | July 28, 2016
Recently, TechFreedom and the Cato Institute filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to hear an appeal in Flytenow, Inc. v. Federal Aviation Administration after a lower court ruled in favor of the FAA. According to the brief, Flytenow planned to offer an internet-based service to connect pilots and passengers through a cost-sharing system. Under […]Read More