The invention of supercomputers was a boon and a bane. Boon, because it started technological advancements that were once unimaginable and bane because it came with its own set of challenges, especially for ethical decision makers.
Supercomputers can perform insanely fast computing functions compared to normal desktop computers. They can breakdown codes, hack other systems, passwords, and that’s the problem. When you are online banking, you input all your valuable information. Considering the power of supercomputers, quantum computing can create problems.
Quantum Computing is thousand times faster than a regular computer.
It uses four state qubits instead of the traditional two state transistors which enables greater computing ability and allows someone who knows quantum computing have a significant advantage over rest of the people who operate regular computers. Quantum computing can have a revolutionary impact on the human society, national security, global wellbeing, and commercial application across many industries. With the adoption of the quantum computing ecosystem around the world, several ethical questions have arisen among experts.
At present, we can compare the availability of quantum computers and how they will be used when they are developed. Right now, supercomputers are considered ethically wrong since its code states that every country needs to have the same amount of access to them.
The technology is in its intermediate stage, so this is the time to consider its ethical implications. While this discussion is one of the hot topics of the tech world, it is important to note that ethical guidelines, of any sort, don’t exist in the world as of yet. From the learnings of ethical principles and rules of other disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, nanotech, nuclear energy, etc. there is a rising need to study the ethical implication, cautiously. Risks of quantum computing can be contained through effective governance and policy measures while spreading the right awareness. Developing effective guidelines of quantum computing for public and private sectors, education institutes, and other stakeholders is imperative to promote responsible quantum computing.
This ideology is bringing researchers and industry experts together for a discussion. Experts from public sector, private sector, academic sector, and civil society are stressing on the need to formulate guidelines and create an ethical framework for responsible and positive design and adoption of quantum computing technologies that can do good to society.
World Economic Forum is taking the following approach for this ethical conundrum:
- Frame stakeholder conversations and create an ecosystem awareness about how quantum ethics can be used for societal good.
- Study the native risks, important ethical questions, societal implications, and other unknown impacts of quantum computing.
- Design a thorough quantum computing ethics principles
- Design an extensive framework for correct design and adoption of responsible quantum computing
- Finally, test the framework in a couple of emerging programs of quantum computing which will be evaluated by a community of experts.
Like every technology in the world, misuse is a risk that the world is not ready for. Just like impossible technology predictions, there can be impossible consequences to technologies that we cannot predict. The pressing concern for researchers is to formulate guidelines as quickly as they can to avoid any chaos.
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