Over the past six years, quantum science has noticeably shifted, from the domain of physicists concerned with learning about the universe on extremely small scales, to a source of new technologies we all might use for practical purposes. These technologies make use of quantum properties of single atoms or particles of light. They include sensors, communication networks, and computers.
Quantum technologies are expected to impact many aspects of our society, including health care, financial services, defence, weather modelling, and cyber security. Clearly, they promise exciting benefits. Yet the history of technology development shows we cannot simply assume new tools and systems will automatically be in the public interest.
We must look ahead to what a quantum society might entail and how the quantum design choices made today might impact how we live in the near future. The deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning over the past few years provides a compelling example of why this is necessary.
Lets consider an example. Quantum computers are perhaps the best-known quantum technology, with companies like Google and IBM competing to achieve quantum computation. The advantage of quantum computers lies in their ability to tackle incredibly complex tasks that would take a normal computer millions of years. One such task is simulating molecules behaviour to improve predictions about the properties of prospective new drugs and accelerate their development.
One conundrum posed by quantum computing is the sheer expense of investing in the physical infrastructure of the technology. This means ownership will likely be concentrated among the wealthiest countries and corporations. In turn, this could worsen uneven power distribution enabled by technology.
Other considerations for this particular type of quantum technology include concerns about reduced online privacy.
How do we stop ourselves blundering into a quantum age without due forethought? How do we tackle the societal problems posed by quantum technologies, while nations and companies race to develop them?
Last year, CSIRO released a roadmap that included a call for quantum stakeholders to explore and address social risks. An example of how we might proceed with this has begun at the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF is convening experts from industry, policy-making, and research to promote safe and secure quantum technologies by establishing an agreed set of ethical principles for quantum computing.
Australia should draw on such initiatives to ensure the quantum technologies we develop work for the public good. We need to diversify the people involved in quantum technologies in terms of the types of expertise employed and the social contexts we work from so we dont reproduce and amplify existing problems or create new ones.
Read more: Scientists want to build trust in science and technology. The alternative is too risky to contemplate
While we work to shape the impacts of individual quantum technologies, we should also review the language used to describe this second quantum revolution.
The rationale most commonly used to advocate for the field narrowly imagines public benefit of quantum technologies in terms of economic gain and competition between nations and corporations. But framing this as a race to develop quantum technologies means prioritising urgency, commercial interests and national security at the expense of more civic-minded concerns.
Its still early enough to do something about the challenges posed by quantum technologies. Its also not all doom and gloom, with a variety of initiatives and national research and development policies setting out to tackle these problems before they are set in stone.
We need discussions involving a cross-section of society on the potential impacts of quantum technologies on society. This process should clarify societal expectations for the emerging quantum technology sector and inform any national quantum initiative in Australia.
Read more: Why are scientists so excited about a recently claimed quantum computing milestone?
- IonQ and University of Maryland Researchers Demonstrate Fault-Tolerant Error Correction, Critical for Unlocking the Full Potential of Quantum... - October 12th, 2021
- Quantum computing startups pull in millions as VCs rush to get ahead of the game - The Register - October 12th, 2021
- Zapata, University of Hull researchers take quantum computing to deep space - FierceElectronics - October 12th, 2021
- IBM and Raytheon Technologies collaborate on AI, cryptography and quantum technologies - Scientific Computing World - October 12th, 2021
- How science and diplomacy inform each other - SWI swissinfo.ch - swissinfo.ch - October 12th, 2021
- Digital Wealth Management Fees to Increase Threefold to $12.6 Billion By 2026 - Yahoo Finance - October 12th, 2021
- Is Neuromorphic Computing The Answer For Autonomous Driving And Personal Robotics? - Forbes - October 12th, 2021
- IonQ is set to make its public trading debut. Here's a look at the quantum computing company's 2021 highlights - Technical.ly DC - October 2nd, 2021
- Connecting the Dots Between Material Properties and Superconducting Qubit Performance - SciTechDaily - October 2nd, 2021
- Quantum Computing in Agriculture Market to Witness Stellar CAGR During the Forecast Period 2021 -2026 - Northwest Diamond Notes - October 2nd, 2021
- What is quantum computing? - September 21st, 2021
- Why quantum computing is a security threat and how to defend against it [Q&A] - BetaNews - September 21st, 2021
- 'This Is The Beginning Of A New Industry': College Park Looks To Quantum Computing To Spark Office Growth - Bisnow - September 21st, 2021
- Prepare for the next phase of digital transformation at The Quantum Computing Summit - UKTN - UKTN (UK Technology News - September 21st, 2021
- A Simple Equation Indicates Wormholes May Be the Key to Quantum Gravity - Interesting Engineering - September 21st, 2021
- Explore Trends and COVID-19 Impact on Quantum Computing Market 2021 Research Report and Industry Forecast till 2027 | Know More Stillwater Current -... - September 21st, 2021
- Australias nuclear submarines and AUKUS: The view from Jakarta - Brookings Institution - September 21st, 2021
- Research on Quantum Computing in Health Care Market 2021: By Growing Rate, Type, Applications, Geographical Regions, and Forecast to 2026 - Northwest... - September 15th, 2021
- Atomically-Thin, Twisted Graphene Has Unique Properties That Could Advance Quantum Computing - SciTechDaily - September 15th, 2021
- For The First Time, Scientists Have Entangled Three Qubits on Silicon - ScienceAlert - September 15th, 2021
- UChicago, Duality Teams to Pitch at 2021 Chicago Venture Summit - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Polsky Center for... - September 15th, 2021
- View: Its the Spacetime to Quantum - Economic Times - September 15th, 2021
- IonQ Scores Quantum Computing Deal With University Of Maryland And Announces Its Tripling 2021 Bookings - Forbes - September 11th, 2021
- How Horizon Plans To Bring Quantum Computing Out Of The Shadows - Forbes - September 11th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Breakthrough: Entanglement of Three Spin Qubits Achieved in Silicon - SciTechDaily - September 11th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Theorist Vojtech Vlcek Receives Research Award from DOE - HPCwire - September 11th, 2021
- UMD, IonQ join forces to create the nation's first quantum computing lab in College Park - The Diamondback - September 11th, 2021
- Quantum computing breakthrough achieved, road to the future begins now - TweakTown - September 11th, 2021
- Leading Chinese researchers are looking at the coming quantum revolution - The Press Stories - September 4th, 2021
- Top 10 Data Center Stories of the Month: August 2021 - Data Center Knowledge - September 4th, 2021
- Large-Scale Simulations Of The Brain May Need To Wait For Quantum Computers - Forbes - September 3rd, 2021
- NSA: We 'don't know when or even if' a quantum computer will ever be able to break today's public-key encryption - The Register - September 3rd, 2021
- IBM quantum computing: From healthcare to automotive to energy, real use cases are in play - TechRepublic - September 1st, 2021
- Quantum Computing in Manufacturing Market Rising Trends-Microsoft, D-Wave Solutions, Rigetti Computing, Intel UNLV The Rebel Yell - UNLV The Rebel... - September 1st, 2021
- Quantum computers could read all your encrypted data. This 'quantum-safe' VPN aims to stop that - ZDNet - August 30th, 2021
- Sumitomo Corporation Quantum Transformation (QX) Project Announces Its Vision and Activities at the IEEE Quantum AI Sustainability Symposium -... - August 30th, 2021
- Life, the universe and everything Physics seeks the future - The Economist - August 30th, 2021
- This Exotic Particle Had an Out-of-Body Experience These Surprised Scientists Took a Picture of It - SciTechDaily - August 30th, 2021
- Deloitte's quantum computing leader on the technology's healthcare future - Healthcare IT News - August 24th, 2021
- Experiments Prove Quantum Computing Errors Correlated, Tied to Cosmic Rays - SciTechDaily - August 24th, 2021
- Urgent Warning Issued Over The Future Of Bitcoin Even As The Crypto Market Price Smashes Past $2 Trillion - Forbes - August 24th, 2021
- Sumitomo Corporation Quantum Transformation (QX) Project Announces Its Vision and Activities at the IEEE Quantum AI Sustainability Symposium - Yahoo... - August 24th, 2021
- Energy Department Sets $61M of Funding to Advance QIS Research - MeriTalk - August 24th, 2021
- Quantum Takes the Scenic Route in Automotive - The Next Platform - August 14th, 2021
- Quantum computing: How BMW is getting ready for the next technology revolution - ZDNet - August 10th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Tech is Amazing. But What Does Business Think? - DesignNews - August 10th, 2021
- AWS leverages Singapore scientists to overcome the hurdles facing quantum computing The Register - Illinoisnewstoday.com - August 10th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Market 2021 with Top Countries Data Analysis by Industry Trends, Size, Share and Company Overview - Digital Journal - August 10th, 2021
- 'Magic Angle' Graphene and How it Could be a Magnet-Proof Superconducter - AZoM - August 10th, 2021
- Healthcare technology development is being accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic - Healthcare Finance News - August 10th, 2021
- From theory to reality: Google claims to created physics-defying 'time crystal' inside its quantum computer - Silicon Canals - August 6th, 2021
- Google says it has created a time crystal in a quantum computer, and it's weirder than you can imagine - ZDNet - August 6th, 2021
- T-Hub, HCL to collaborate on Quantum Computing and Deep Tech. - The Hindu - August 6th, 2021
- Google announces that it may have created a "time crystal" that breaks physics - Texasnewstoday.com - August 6th, 2021
- Why it's time to wake up to the quantum threat - Finextra - Finextra - Finextra - August 6th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Market 2021-2025Top Trends, Business Opportunity, and Growth Strategy The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current - August 6th, 2021
- Superconductivity Research: Researchers Develop New Material that Enables Quantum Information-Based Technology - Science Times - August 6th, 2021
- AI, quantum computing and other technologies poised to transform healthcare - Healthcare Finance News - August 5th, 2021
- Data Analytica Just Released Their New Quantum Computing Simulation Software - PR.com - August 5th, 2021
- Q-CTRL, University of Sydney Devise Machine Learning Technique Used to Pinpoint Quantum Errors - HPCwire - August 5th, 2021
- Q-CTRL: machine learning technique to pinpoint quantum errors - News - The University of Sydney - August 5th, 2021
- U.S. DoE sends another $ 73 million into the future of Quantum - Illinoisnewstoday.com - August 5th, 2021
- Harvard-led physicists have taken a major step in the competition with quantum computing - Illinoisnewstoday.com - July 18th, 2021
- Startup hopes the world is ready to buy quantum processors - Ars Technica - July 16th, 2021
- Covid isolation hits auto, Tom Tom's Virtual Horizon, BMW/Amazon quantum computing - the week - just-auto.com - July 16th, 2021
- Rigetti Computing Partners with Riverlane, Astex Pharmaceuticals to Advance Quantum Computing for Drug Discovery - Yahoo Finance - July 16th, 2021
- Quantum computing: This new 100-qubit processor is built with atoms cooled down near to absolute zero - ZDNet - July 10th, 2021
- This quantum computer with a 3D chip is heading into the cloud - ZDNet - July 10th, 2021
- French researchers on the verge of quantum computing milestone - RFI English - July 10th, 2021
- IBM partners with UK on $ 300 million quantum computing research initiative - Illinoisnewstoday.com - July 10th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Software Market worth $0.43 billion by 2026 - Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets - PRNewswire - July 10th, 2021
- African Education Minister Has Big Hi-Tech Dreams And Makes Music Videos Too : Goats and Soda - NPR - July 10th, 2021
- Why industry supports the government's $110 billion bet on technology R&D - Federal News Network - July 10th, 2021
- Quantum Computing Breakthrough: Unveiling Properties of New Superconductor - Analytics Insight - July 2nd, 2021
- The only answer to the quantum cybersecurity threat is quantum - Sifted - July 2nd, 2021
- Quantum computers are already detangling natures mysteries - Wired.co.uk - June 18th, 2021
- What Are the Quantum Computing Threats to Security? - Design and Reuse - Design and Reuse - June 18th, 2021
- Cutting-edge research into quantum computing: BMW Group and Technical University of Munich agree to create an endowed chair in Quantum Algorithms and... - June 18th, 2021
- Is quantum computing about to change the world? - BroadbandDeals - June 18th, 2021
- Clearing the way toward robust quantum computing - MIT News - June 16th, 2021