A new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) lays out best-practice governance principles to guide future design and adoption , as quantum computing investments boom. Long before commercialization, it is critical to address ethical issues and set standards now, to ensure a level playing field for the future, the report says.
And it is that national governments worldwide have invested more than 25,000 million dollars in quantum computing research and have closed more than 1,000 million dollars in venture capital deals in the last year, more than in the last three years together. Quantum computing promises to alter the future of business , science, government and society itself, but an equitable framework to address future risks is crucial.
Quantum Computing technology is the next revolution
Creating a quantum computer requires a great deal of discipline. Therefore, my most important contribution is to discipline the system by being part of it. This computer is based on milestones that are qubits, which are superconducting currents. You have to create a fridge, install it and control it with a middleware. In the market there are export limitations even in software, so we are creating everything. All that electronics is controlled by an operating system and you also have to develop it. Also the bookstores.
And everything must be in a place with air conditioning, with cooling with cold water, humidity control, pressure, etc. under a very well designed work team, with engineers, physicists. persons have been assembling quantum computers in different locations such as Singapore, where we are implementing one nationwide. In Abu Dhabi too, so it’s time for it to be in Spain. We have to do the project ourselves, because this type of technology is suffering from the geopolitical war and nobody is going to give anything away.
Today, 30% of the global economy already uses quantum technologies, which is perceived every time we go to the supermarket and the doors open automatically because they detect our presence; there we are already working with quantum technologies. What happens is that this has been the first revolution of quantum technologies, and now comes the second revolution, which corresponds to the moment in which we begin to use more than one qubit.
The expectations that quantum computing
Quantum computing is a contribution to what has been called the economy of technology for the last 10 years, which has a profound impact on what we call the new global economy of knowledge, which is identified by internationalization. In the future, this economy of technology is going to be very conditioned by everything that has to do with quantum technologies.
We must understand that quantum mechanics is a law that tells us how matter acts at a fundamental level; its laws are different from those of classical physics. What we have discovered since the late 1980s and early 1990s is that quantum logic is a different paradigm that allows radically different processing of information. For certain things it is very negative; for others, fascinating.
Quantum technology in Science
Obviously, to write a letter in Word you don’t need quantum computing, but it is powerful to attack a problem such as the geometric configuration of a molecule and to improve medicines. It is also for artificial intelligence and for breaking secrets: with quantum computing all classical cryptography would be broken, that is why security agencies are injecting money into this technology.
In short, the applications of quantum computing are of a very high level and depth and will arrive when quantum computers are sufficiently powerful. It is a disruptive change. But this is the easy answer. If we want to understand what it means in a profound way, we must bear in mind that humanity has been achieving more and more powerful things because it is understanding science.
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Companies increase investment in quantum technology
Quantum technology is moving from scientific research to real-world solutions. This is the main conclusion that emerges from a recent investigation carried out by the consulting firm Capgemini worldwide.
Almost a quarter of companies (23%) are working or planning to do so with quantum technologies with the aim of developing a commercial application in the medium term. 20% of those consulted expect to increase their investments in this regard. By country, Chinese companies (43%) are the ones that work the most on it , followed closely (42%) by companies from the Netherlands.
It is a significant proportion, especially when compared to the countries that hold the third and fourth position; the percentage in Germany and the United Kingdom is 26%. These data demonstrate that quantum technology is beginning to move out of research settings and into real-world applications. 20% of those consulted are already in the experimental and implementation phase and 23% are identifying uses and preparing for their application.
Quantum technology: why the future is already on its way
Many of them think of applying it to improve the sustainability of operations, information security, reduce the emission of harmful industrial gases, discover new and better medical sensors or new materials to manufacture batteries.
- More than half (58%) have the support of senior management to carry out these initiatives.
Quantum computing is the application with the greatest potential , although there is more.
- Quantum communications, for example, can help address new information security requirements and quantum sensors can be smaller, more energy efficient and cheaper.
- Although important steps are being taken, there is still a long way to go to reach technology maturity. Seven out of ten companies agree that development cycles are long and that it is necessary to invest a lot of time in creating a foundation (adequate knowledge, identification of problems) and in integrating quantum technologies into their processes.
In this sense, on the other side of the Atlantic, MIT researchers have developed a technique to “clean” quantum processes, a very important advance to improve the performance of quantum computers. The “noise”, the experts explain in a statement made public, is caused by imperfect signal controls, interference from the environment and unwanted interactions between the basic unit of quantum computing.
Quantum Computing Governance Principles
The governance principles are grouped into nine themes and are underpinned by a set of seven core values . These are the respective themes and objectives that define the principles:
- Transformative Capabilities: Harnessing the transformative capabilities of this technology and applications for the good of humanity, while managing risks appropriately.
- Access to hardware infrastructure: Ensure broad access to quantum computing hardware.
- Open innovation: Foster collaboration and a pre-competitive environment that allows faster development of technology and the realization of its applications.
- Raise awareness: Ensure that the general population and stakeholders in quantum computing are aware, engaged, and informed enough to allow for ongoing responsible dialogue and communication. Stakeholders who have oversight and authority must be able to make informed decisions about quantum computing in their respective domains.
- Workforce Development and Capacity Building: Build and maintain a quantum computing-ready workforce.
- Cybersecurity: Guarantee the transition to a secure digital world from the quantum point of view.
- Privacy: Mitigate potential data privacy breaches from theft and processing by quantum computers.
- Standardization: Promote standardization and routing mechanisms to accelerate technology development.
- Sustainability: Develop a sustainable future with and for quantum computing technology.
Cybersecurity look like on quantum platforms:
Quantum cybersecurity will be inviolable. In quantum physics, based on three characteristic properties such as superposition, entanglement and duality of a particle; three properties from a new physics that has always existed although we did not know them, through which it can be achieved that – when pure communication is carried out in quantum technologies – if someone comes in to listen automatically, the communication is cut off and they find out the extremes, because a collapse occurs by observation.
It turns out that in quantum physics, when you look at it, it stops working. So quantum things work while not being observed; consequently, a quantum communication would be interrupted as soon as a third element entered. That is going to be absolute security. In the meantime, today we still do not have the technological maturity to achieve this, and what we are doing is using quantum technologies to make traditional communications more secure.
We are still at that level. Still, we have a problem because all the data that we are generating now and protecting with classic encryption will be vulnerable in a few years. Currently, there are criminal organizations that are collecting all this encrypted information.
Core Values of Quantum Computing
These values are maintained in all themes and principles:
The transformative capabilities of quantum computing and its applications are harnessed to ensure they are used for the benefit of humanity.
The use of quantum computing in any context has mechanisms to guarantee human responsibility, both in its design and in its uses and results. All stakeholders in the quantum computing community are responsible for ensuring that intentional misuse of quantum computing for harmful purposes is neither accepted nor inadvertently positively penalized.
In the development of quantum computing, to the extent possible, a wide and truly diverse range of stakeholder perspectives are engaged in meaningful dialogue, thus avoiding narrow definitions of what may be considered harmful or beneficial use of technology.
Quantum computing developers and users ensure that the technology is fair by design, and that quantum computing-based technologies are distributed as fairly and evenly as possible. Special attention is paid to the specific needs of vulnerable populations to ensure equity.
All stakeholders use quantum computing in a safe, ethical and responsible way. Furthermore, all stakeholders ensure that quantum computing does not put humans at risk, either in the intended or unintended results of its use, and that it is not used for nefarious purposes .
Quantum computing technology and insights are widely accessible. This includes the development, deployment and use of technology. The objective is to cultivate a general capacity among the population, social actors, companies and governments to understand the main principles of quantum computing, the ways in which it differs from classical computing and the potential it brings.
Users, developers, and regulators are transparent about their purposes and intentions regarding quantum computing.
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