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The one-two punch of rapidly advancing technologies and fast-fraying social trust bodes ill for the near future. That’s the disconcerting conclusion from this report by RAND Corporation experts. Building on RAND’s Truth Decay report from 2018, the authors imagine possible paths for the world in the next half-decade. Even the most heartening scenario seems grim: Big tech companies grow far more powerful, and algorithms delve into everyone’s lives to a frightening degree. An even gloomier forecast predicts that a fearful and deeply divided electorate will retreat permanently into their own realities.
About the Authors
Michael J. Mazarr is a senior political scientist at RAND. Ryan Michael Bauer is a defense analyst at RAND. Sarah Anita Heintz is a research assistant at RAND. Luke J. Matthews is a behavioral and social scientist at RAND. Abigail Casey also co-authored the report.