ACM Technology Policy Council Releases TechBrief on Quantum Computing and Simulation

Aug 2, 2022

ACM's global Technology Policy Council (ACM TPC) has released "ACM TechBrief: Quantum Computing and Simulation." The TechBrief examines both the benefits and the possible societal and individual risks resulting from quantum simulation—an imminent offshoot of quantum computing that has thus far received insufficient attention. The TechBrief includes an overview of quantum computing and simulation, the positives and negatives they may pose in several areas, and a short list of conclusions.

Because quantum simulation both poses serious risks and holds enormous potential, the TechBrief states that it is imperative to scrutinize this quickly emerging technology before it is fully realized and utilized. The TechBrief lists three key policy implications that government officials, as well as the private companies that develop this technology, should consider:

  • Focus on the code-breaking implications of future quantum computers has obscured the imminent viability, and potential consequences, of quantum simulation technology.
  • Quantum simulation has the potential to profoundly affect science, industry, and warfare.
  • Privacy and other civil liberties could be adversely affected by technological developments accelerated by quantum simulation.

This TechBrief is the fourth in a series of short technical bulletins by ACM TPC that present scientifically grounded perspectives on the impact of specific developments in computing technology or their applications. Designed to complement ACM's activities in the policy arena, TechBriefs aim to inform policymakers, the public, and others about the nature and implications of information technologies. The first ACM TechBrief focused on climate change, the second addressed facial recognition, and the third assessed smart cities. Topics under consideration for future issues include election auditing, AI and trust, encryption security, media disinformation, content filtering, blockchain, digital accessibility, and more.

Read the ACM news release.