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Quantum technologies can potentially reshape our society, for better or worse. For instance, quantum simulations could play a pivotal role in combating climate change, yet they could also be exploited to develop chemical weapons. How can we ensure that our society benefits from quantum technologies while mitigating potential risks?

In a commenary titled "A call for responsible quantum technology," published today in Nature Physics, Urs Gasser of the Quantum Social Lab at the TUM Think Tank, along with co-authors Eline De Jong and Mauritz Kop, advocate for the responsible handling of quantum technologies and the establishment of guidelines. Based on an international interdisciplinary effort led by the Stanford Center for Responsible Quantum Technology, the authors introduce a framework for responsible quantum technologies that integrates ethical, legal, socio-ecological, and policy implications into the research and development of quantum technologies.

Developing suitable guardrails and governance frameworks for quantum technologies are among the main objectives of the Quantum Social Lab, co-directed by Urs Gasser and Fabienne Marco. Towards this end, the lab brings together an interdisciplinary community to examine, evaluate, and help shape the development and use of quantum-based applications, and promote responsible innovation.

"History teaches us that ethical, legal, socio-economic, and policy implications are often only an afterthought when a powerful technology has already made its way from the lab into the wild,” says lead author Urs Gasser. “Given the possible ramifications of quantum technology, we should not repeat this mistake and create guardrails while it is still malleable. Our call in Nature Physics invites the science community to help shape defining principles and practices.”

The full commentary on responsible quantum technology can be found in Nature Physics:

Read the commentary

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