Category Archives: Science and Technology

The Internet of Things (video)

“Internet of Things” (IoT) generally refers to everyday devices that you can find around your house—such as thermostats, smart speakers, or refrigerators—that now connect to a network or the Internet. But, the federal government is also using this technology for … Continue reading

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Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence, Plan for It

By Timothy Persons, GAO’s Chief Scientist and Managing Director of GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team. Since the 1968 release of the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, artificial intelligence (AI) has captured our imagination, inspiring both wonder and fear. … Continue reading

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Could AI Help Create New Medicines?

Developing and bringing a new drug to market is a lengthy and expensive process. Only about 1 in 10,000 chemical compounds that are tested makes it through the research and development pipeline and is approved by the FDA. This process … Continue reading

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Our Guide to Tech Readiness

The development of cutting-edge technologies is critical to many of the government’s most costly acquisition projects, including new weapons, satellites, nuclear facilities, and homeland security systems. The federal government spends billions of dollars acquiring these technologies. However, these technologies can … Continue reading

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Expanding GAO’s Science & Technology Expertise

We provide Congress with nonpartisan and fact-based analysis of technological and scientific developments that affect our society, environment, and economy. To enhance our ability to do this, we established the Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics (STAA) team in January 2019. … Continue reading

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Can Irrigation Technology Address Water Scarcity? (Podcast and Infographic)

GAO keeps a close eye on the latest technologies, but today we’re looking at a truly ancient one: irrigated agriculture. Despite dating back at least 5,000 years, irrigation technology continues to improve. Micro irrigation, for example, applies water close to … Continue reading

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On National STEM Day, Combatting Sexual Harassment in STEM Research

Research in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) plays a critical role in enhancing the nation’s competitiveness. Here on the WatchBlog, we’ve explored the federal government’s role in supporting STEM education, diversifying the pipeline of STEM talent, and increasing women’s … Continue reading

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Our Innovation Lab: Building a Sandbox for Audit Tech

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, being able to quickly make sense of patterns, correlations, and behaviors from huge amounts of data is vital. This is especially true for federal agencies and the audit community. As Taka Ariga, GAO’s first … Continue reading

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Preparing for Evolving Cybersecurity Threats Facing the U.S. Electric Grid

Electricity is essential for modern life. In addition to our modern home conveniences, like our microwaves, computers, and lighting, electricity is vital to hospitals, first responders, and financial services in our country. So, what would happen if our electric grid … Continue reading

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Our New “Science & Tech Spotlights”

GAO has launched a new line of science and tech quick reads, 2-pagers providing brief overviews of key topics in the field. To complement our more in-depth evaluations and assessments, these “Science & Tech Spotlights” summarize emerging innovations and the … Continue reading

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