Quantum Computing Governance

A global multistakeholder initiative to create a governance framework enabling the responsible design and adoption of quantum computing 

Quantum Computing Governance is an initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Quantum Computing Network. The network drives cross-domain interaction to accelerate learning and coordination towards building a secure quantum economy through inter-linked workstreams around applications, cybersecurity and governance. 

The challenge

Quantum computing, though at its early stages, will help provide significant advances in computing capabilities and will have a considerable impact on improving the state of the world in the coming years. It could have a revolutionary impact on human well-being, national security and global society, along with potential commercial applications across industries.

With the emergence of the quantum ecosystem around the world, inherent risks of relying on quantum computing have emerged in a number of areas. Will quantum computing add to the risks as well as benefits of an algorithm-based society? Are there new challenges? Will the public trust technologies which they cannot understand and whose results they cannot verify? Will quantum computers be able to break existing cryptographic standards? Who will have access to the new technologies? 

The opportunity

The most appropriate and effective time to consider the ethical implications of a technology is when that technology is still in the design and development phase, as it allows for early intervention. Ethical concerns in quantum computing are just starting to be discussed, however, guidelines do not yet exist globally. Drawing on the learnings of ethical principles and approaches to mitigating risks and unintended consequences in other emerging technologies like AI, nanotech, nuclear energy and GMOs, there is a need to study the ethical implications of the technology. 

Quantum computing-related risks can be mitigated through a selection of effective governance and policy measures, while creating awareness among relevant stakeholders. Developing effective guidelines for the public and private sectors, academia and other stakeholders is timely in order to promote the adoption of responsible quantum computing.

Impact

This initiative brings together a global multistakeholder community of experts from across the public sector and private sectors, academia and civil society to formulate principles and create a broader framework for responsible and purpose-driven design and adoption of quantum computing technologies to drive positive outcomes for society.  

Our approach:


  • Frame stakeholder conversations and create ecosystem awareness of how quantum ethics can be used to create a better society 

  • Study the inherent risks, ethical questions, societal implications and other unknown impacts associated with quantum computing 

  • Design quantum computing governance principles

  • Design a broader framework for the responsible design and adoption of quantum computing 

  • Test the framework in a few emerging applications of quantum computing to be identified by the expert community

How to engage

Project community: Nominate quantum experts, policymakers, emerging technologies ethics experts, or senior executives to provide ongoing input on the project

Fellow: Nominate an individual from your organization to play an integral role in shaping this initiative

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