Putting the lid on the devil’s toy box: how the homeland security enterprise can decide which emerging threats to address
Fox, Andrew J.
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Evolving developments in nanotechnology, materials science, and artificial intelligence are paving the way for exponential growth in humanity’s abilities to create-and destroy. Emerging Promethean technologies will deliver capabilities to average persons that, until recently, have been relegated only to governments, militaries, and large research laboratories. The responsibilities of the homeland security enterprise can be divided between two mission sets: the systemic mission (responding to known threats) and the future-shock mission (preparing for highly uncertain threats from emerging technologies). The latter mission encompasses forecasting which emerging Promethean technologies are most likely to be actualized and then used by bad actors, and which have the direst plausible consequences. Pandora’s Spyglass, a decision-support tool for performing a devil’s toy box analysis, fuses best practices from a wide variety of predictive analytical techniques. It produces an ordinal list of most-destructive scenarios involving emerging Promethean technologies likely to come to market within a five- to ten-year window-a to-do list for counter-future-shock research and development. It is a ranking tool, not meant to serve as a budget justification or formulation tool; however, the procedure’s assumptions and variables can be validated so that it could legitimately serve that latter function.
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