Call for a new field: Quantum Law
(Gov.Tech) Albany Law professor Rob Heverly says scholars, industry leaders and government regulators need to start pondering quantum Internet regulations, and discussions should be informed by lessons of the past.
Heverly, recently named a fellow at the National Science Foundation’s Center for Quantum Networks (CQN), legislators and others will need a firmer grasp on past technology regulation debates to make informed decisions when quantum computers become commonplace. While it remains difficult to confidently predict how and when quantum technology advancements will take shape in the coming years, or the legal and cybersecurity concerns that may come with the advent of quantum networks, Heverly said, policymakers can expect talks to sound like those when the Internet emerged in the 1990s.
To get a jump on legal discussions about quantum computers, Heverly predicted an interdisciplinary field of “quantum law” will emerge alongside the technology, drawing much of its wisdom from past lessons in tech history. He said he and his colleagues in the CQN act as trailblazers for the emerging discipline, which aims to help build understanding of the technology among law students and lawmakers, as well as its potential social implications.
It remains to be seen what types of law school courses might comprise quantum law, but the idea is that students — and especially those responsible for future regulations — will need to remain informed in order to safely navigate changes happening in quantum technology.
Heverly said the field will look to build communities of scholars, industry leaders and government regulators, with the hopes of encouraging them to talk about these issues in a way that makes sense.