Why the U.S. Needs to Urgently Prioritize Quantum Investments
(VentureBeat) The importance of U.S. investment in quantum information science can’t be overstated. Tommy Gardner, CTO of HP Federal has contributed this call for the U.S. to urgently prioritize quantum investments.
The potential to transform national security, cybersecurity, and communications and network infrastructure with quantum could not only make the U.S. a leading global power in quantum, but it would also redefine how the government operates and have a significant impact on our economy. The flip side of this coin also applies. In the absence of strong investment in domestic quantum technologies, the U.S. runs a very real risk of falling permanently behind.
For many agencies the most immediate and pressing use case for quantum information science to “unlock” is improved information security. Current encryption methodology uses pseudo-random number generators which are based on very few truly random seeds, which opens opportunities for compromise.
Better encryption could tighten up other vulnerable networks, such as critical infrastructure at the state and local level.
Another area to watch is quantum memory, which could deliver three key benefits, in distinctly different areas. First, it is a foundational technology for building a globally-scalable quantum internet; one that would support global entanglement distribution. Second, quantum memory could enable us to store a huge amount of information in a space the size of a few dozn atoms. Finally, a true quantum memory (where both the data and the addresses are represented in superposition) could transform fast searching and sorting operations.
As revolutionary as these ideas are, they’re just the start. With other governments and industry investing serious money in the field, we’re primed for a second global quantum revolution. In order to take advantage of this moment, the U.S. needs to allocate funds to recruiting top talent across research, engineering and cybersecurity to turn these technologies into reality for near-term impact. The U.S. can’t afford to play the long game of five or ten years, when other countries are making progress now.