Virtual Library

Our virtual library is an online repository of all of the reports, papers, and briefings that IST has produced, as well as works that have influenced our thinking.

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Memo

Roadmap to Potential Prohibition of Ransomware Payments

Ransomware Task Force Co-Chairs

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Reports

Unlocking U.S. Technological Competitiveness: Evaluating Initial Solutions to Public-Private Misalignments

Ben Purser, Pavneet Singh

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Reports

Public Private Partnerships to Combat Ransomware: An inquiry into three case studies and best practices

Elizabeth Vish, Georgeanela Flores Bustamante

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Reports

Unlocking U.S. Technological Competitiveness: Public-Private Misalignments in Biotechnology, Energy, and Quantum Sectors

Ben Purser, Pavneet Singh

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Reports

Effects of Electromagnetic Pulses on Communication Infrastructure: An IST Primer

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Reports

How Does Access Impact Risk? Assessing AI Foundation Model Risk Along a Gradient of Access

Zoë Brammer, along with contributors from the AI Foundation Model Access Working Group

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Fact Sheet

DOD and SBA Launch the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technology (SBICCT) Initiative

Strategic Balancing Initiative

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We also welcome additional suggestions from readers, and will consider adding further resources as so much of our work has come through crowd-sourced collaboration already. If, for any chance you are an author whose work is listed here and you do not wish it to be listed in our repository, please, let us know.

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Memory: How digital technologies influence cognitive information storage

Stephanie Rodriguez

SUMMARY

Below is an editorial summary of “Memory”:

Memory is foundational to cognition. It enables individuals to operate with certain assumptions about truth based on prior validated beliefs. Memory informs individual decision making, reasoning, and problem solving. There are also significant societal implications rooted in memory function. Individual memories, collectively and cumulatively, inform the development of “national memory,” which in turn influences “the construction of a democratic culture and collective identity.” This report provides a working definition of memory and focuses especially on long-term memory.

The class of long-term memory identified as critical to our investigation is outsourced memory. Two key examples of digital technologies that “outsource” memory are: the Google effect and the GPS effect.

This trust in and reliance on devices, tools, and platforms—which in fact have significant flaws and biases, and are often intentionally manipulative—may pose issues for behavior in other settings, and thus for societal and democratic functioning more broadly. Additionally, if people believe they store more information internally than they do, there is a risk of co-dependence on external information stores to supplement or supplant individual knowledge. Constantly seeking information externally also risks increasing the likelihood of exposure to biased, manipulated, or inaccurate information, which may also change how information is processed and synthesized across diverse contexts. Combined, these processes may adversely affect the information ecosystem, public discourse, and civic engagement.

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