(Forbes) Arthur Herman, Forbes Contributor comments on quantum computing and AI, and American national security. He warns that America must be ready for, and protected from, the next unexpected “black swan” event, whether it’s another pandemic; a deliberate bioweapon attack; an electro-magnetic pulse attack by a nuclear-armed rogue nation like North Korea or possibly Iran; or an assault on our government and financial system by a large-scale quantum computer attack.
Computing power will grow exponentially as the number of qubits expands. A 2,000- to 4,000-qubit quantum computer, for example, would quickly decrypt almost all public-key encryption architectures—the ones used for everything from banking and credit cards to the power grid. Those architectures rely on numbers too big for conventional computers to factorize, but which a quantum computer could.
How much will making America quantum-ready and quantum-safe cost? At this point we don’t know. But we do know that the cost of a devastating quantum computer attack will put the economic costs of coronavirus in the deep shade. Committing ourselves in the private and the public sectors to making America quantum-safe it will turn out to be one of the most important investments we can all make in our post-COVID-19 future.

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