The future of regulation


The future of regulation

Principles for regulating emerging technologies

SWEEPING technological advancements are creating a sea change in today’s regulatory environment, posing significant challenges for regulators who strive to maintain a balance between fostering innovation, protecting consumers, and addressing the potential unintended consequences of disruption. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data analytics, distributed ledger technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are creating new ways for consumers to interact—and disrupting traditional business models. It’s an era in which machines teach themselves to learn; autonomous vehicles communicate with one other and the transportation infrastructure; and smart devices respond to and anticipate consumer needs.

For technological innovation, regulation can be catalytic—or a hindrance. As emerging technologies evolve, regulators from around the world are rethinking their approaches, adopting models that are agile, iterative, and collaborative to face the challenges posed by emerging technologies and the fourth Industrial Revolution. To promote innovation, regulators are also moving toward creating outcome-based regulations and testing new models in sandboxes. The principles outlined in this paper can help regulators balance consumer protection and innovation effectively. This is the first study in our series on the future of regulation. Look for our additional papers in the months and years ahead.

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