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Created by Collaboration Between the Osaka University ELSI Center and R4D’s Quantum Information Technology Team, the 29th ELSI Note, Titled “23 Topics About The Future of Quantum” Has Been Published

Top>Created by Collaboration Between the Osaka University ELSI Center and R4D’s Quantum Information Technology Team, the 29th ELSI Note, Titled “23 Topics About The Future of Quantum” Has Been Published

The 29th installment of ELSI Note, a series created in cooperation with The Osaka University Research Center on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (“ELSI”) has been published on Friday, August 18th. The title of the publication is “23 Topics About The Future of Quantum: A Concentrated Group Interview with The Mercari R4D Quantum Information Technology Team.”

Published here: https://elsi.osaka-u.ac.jp/research/2366 (Click here for the full paper.)

This article explains the overview, reason of publication, and comments from the author of ELSI Note No. 29.

Note: ELSI is an acronym standing for “ethical, legal, and social issues.

ELSI Note No. 29: An Overview

ELSI NOTE is a series of papers published by the Osaka University ELSI Center that introduces domestic ELSI research and the latest trends in ELSI practices.

ELSI Note No. 29, the latest installment, is a collection of ten interviews conducted between December 2022 and March 2023 by ELSI Center researchers with the R4D Quantum Information Technology Team about the future of quantum. The content is broken down into the 23 Topics and 5 categories below. It includes deep contemplation over the many effects of quantum technologies on the future of society, such as the present and future of quantum information technologies, their challenges and issues to be considered, the nurturing of “quantum talent” which includes researchers with expertise of humanities and social sciences, society’s impression and acceptance of quantum technologies, and concerns over quantum technologies including their abuse and pseudoscience surrounding them.

  • Category 1: Topics Regarding Changes That Quantum Technologies Will Bring
    • Topic 1: Resolving Societal Issues with “By Design” Methodology
    • Topic 2: Everyday Applications
    • Topic 3: Resolving Security Issues Brought on by the Development of Crypto Technologies
    • Topic 4: The Benefits of Quantum Computers As Opposed To Classical Computing: Prime Factorization and The Optimization Problem
    • Topic 5: Contributing to SDGs, etc.
  • Category 2: Topics About Quantum Information Technology Issues to Overcome
    • Topic 6: Building a Testbed Ecosystem
    • Topic 7: Controversy or Cooperation?
    • Topic 8: Culture of Standardization: De-facto and De-jure
    • Topic 9: Benchmark: Quantum Volume
    • Topic 10: Designing Easy-to-Use Systems and Architectures
    • Topic 11: The Difficulties of Controlling Quantum
    • Topic 12: The “Spread Wide and Thin” Phase and The “Select and Focus” Phase
    • Topic 13: Creating a Roadmap for Quantum Information Technologies that Includes ELSI
  • Category 3: Topics About Quantum Information Technology Talent
    • Topic 14: The Skill-Set Necessary for Quantum Talent
    • Topic 15: Materializing the Ideal Talent
    • Topic 16: Talent Circulation and the Particularities of the Research Environment in Japan
    • Topic 17: Extending the Scope of Quantum Talent to Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Category 4: Topics About the Public Image of Quantum
    • Topic 18: Understanding the Current Public Image of Quantum by Holding Dialogue
    • Topic 19: Building and Spreading an Impression in Society via Literature, Fiction, etc.
    • Topic 20: Hype and Lock-In
  • Category 5: Topics About Concerns Regarding Quantum Information Technology
    • Topic 21: Abuse, High-Risk Use, and Dual Use
    • Topic 22: The Creation of Interdisciplinary Areas and Pseudoscience
    • Topic 23: Growing Disparity and Inequality, etc.

The Purpose of Publishing ELSI Note No. 29

The field of quantum information technologies has seen much debate and research on the issues and adaptations of scientific technology. While its possible effects on the economy have become a topic of debate, there was no discussion focused on the possible impact of implementing quantum information technologies in the community.

The development of quantum information technologies has a big potential of impacting modern societal infrastructure such as computers and the internet. Its possible ripple effects via implementation in the community are also thought to be large. These effects are of course not only positive. This potential means that there will be many new issues emerging in the future, including ELSI. For people to benefit from quantum information technologies in a safe and secure manner and to realize the appropriate social reforms, we must conduct dialogue with the public and clarify what possibilities there are and how to address them at an early state of research and development, as well as consider how to move forward.

ELSI Note No. 29 collects 23 topics regarding the future of quantum under five categories by extracting discussion points from discussions on the societal issues of quantum information technologies. As society’s expectations of quantum information technologies increase and research and development activities progress rapidly, we hope that this paper serves as an opportunity to actively discuss ELSI in quantum information technologies in parallel with the technological developments and also as a springboard for those discussions.

Author’s comments: Shota Nagayama, Mercari R4D Senior Researcher and Kentaro Teramoto, Mercari R4D Research Engineer

Mercari R4D’s research and development activities are conducted with full commitment to the quest for knowledge and the development of technologies, while also placing great emphasis on societal implementation. In order for innovative technologies such as quantum information technologies to penetrate society and achieve innovation, and in order for each of us to benefit from them, the possible conflicts and problems that may arise from the revolutionary nature of these technologies ahead of time, or at least minimized, so that circumstances can be created where people can accept these technologies and the revolutions that come with them in a safe and secure manner. This is why Mercari R4D has taken on addressing ELSI for quantum information technologies.

Mercari R4D will continue to address and spread awareness of ELSI in not just quantum information technologies, but other fields as well.