From: Niskanen Center
Short of completely banning the new technology, however, is there any role for safety regulators? To answer that, it’s worth broadening the question a bit. How, if at all, can regulators effectively regulate new emerging technologies that have no historical precedence? From artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles to CRISPR gene editing technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), regulators seem to be besieged on all sides by a mind-bogglingly punctuated rate of technological progress. What, if anything, is to be done?
To begin, it’s important to recognize that delays in rolling out new technologies can have negative effects on consumer welfare. That is, regulators can have an equally injurious effect on the public by forestalling the entry of emerging technologies into the marketplace. Regulatory action can have dire effects on consumer welfare—just as much, or perhaps more so, than inaction.