In an essay on the challenges of regulating technological innovation, Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, emphasizes the importance of “humans who can maintain vigilance” throughout the regulatory process.
In “Regulating New Tech: Problems, Pathways, and People,” which was recently published in the inaugural issue of Competition Policy International’s new publication, TechREG Chronicle, Coglianese writes:
New technologies bring with them many promises, but also a series of new problems. Even though these problems are new, they are not unlike the types of problems that regulators have long addressed in other contexts. The lessons from regulation in the past can thus guide regulatory efforts today. Regulators must focus on understanding the problems they seek to address and the causal pathways that lead to these problems. Then they must undertake efforts to shape the behavior of those in industry so that private sector managers focus on their technologies’ problems and take actions to interrupt the causal pathways. This means that regulatory organizations need to strengthen their own technological capacities; however, they need most of all to build their human capital. Successful regulation of technological innovation rests with top quality people who possess the background and skills needed to understand new technologies and their problems.
Ultimately, because people are needed to design and enforce regulatory tools, “the most important ingredient for success in regulating new tech will not be technology,” concludes Coglianese. “It will be people.”
TechREG recently interviewed Coglianese, who expounded upon the challenges of regulating tech:
In addition to his position at the Law School, Coglianese is a Penn Professor of Political Science and the Founder and Director of the Penn Program on Regulation.
Coglianese’s complete scholarship is also available online.