Over the last few years, greater attention has been placed on quantum supercomputers and what they might mean for both scientific research and breaking certain forms of encryption. On December 3, 2020, the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency announced that a group of scientists from China’s University of Science and Technology had reached quantum supremacy, after building a machine able to perform certain computations nearly 100 trillion times faster than the world’s most advanced supercomputer. If true, these scientists’ achievements will represent the first milestone in China’s efforts to develop quantum technology. Most symbolically, this scientific landmark portrays the ongoing global race to build the most powerful supercomputer in the era of superpower competition and U.S.–China rivalry.
The development of quantum technology has inestimable potential effects on our livelihoods, from message encryption to quantum teleportation. Given the multiple landmark applications of this technology, it is not surprising to learn that Xi Jinping’s government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences and that the United States’ White House, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy announced $1 billion in funding last August to research artificial intelligence and quantum information.
In this second issue of the Economy of Trust newsletter, both SICPA and the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center analyze the implications of quantum technologies in the development of an economy “based on a social contract, with the government defending the interests of the people.” In the face of significant moral and sociopolitical challenges of quantum technologies, SICPA argues that political and industrial decision-makers must “prepare their organizations for the future challenges” given that “our traditional way of managing risks will be insufficient in the face of high uncertainty.” The GeoTech Center concurs with our SICPA partners noting that “data and new technologies are changing societies around the world—making it extremely important that we encourage more trust and knowledge-based collaborations to work towards better futures together.”
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Research & Analysis
Event Recap Feb 8, 2021
Event recap | Data salon episode 6: Digital identity
By Arjun Mehrotra
On Thursday, December 17, the GeoTech Center hosted the fifth installment of the Data Salon Series in partnership with Accenture to discuss the future of digital identity and the potential benefits of and hurdles to its widespread adoption.
Event Recap Dec 7, 2020
Event recap | At the crossroads of emerging technologies and security during the pandemic
By Henry Westerman
On Thursday, December 3, the Embassy of Finland and the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center convened a partially public, partially private roundtable to discuss the impact technology on contemporary society, politics, and transatlantic relations. The roundtable sought to consider specific policy steps that could build trust in governments, corporations, and technologies alike, both in the United States and Europe, so as to overcome the numerous technological challenges of the present and issues poised for the future.
Event Recap Dec 9, 2020
Event Recap | AgriTechAction 2020
By Borja Prado, Claire Branley
On Tuesday, November 17 the GeoTech Center hosted AgriTechAction 2020, a three-day conference that explored the relationship between agriculture and technology, with the goal for future solutions to food security challenges to be accessible and sustainable for all. In the conference, experts and leaders in agriculture, technology, and national security came together to discuss and help guide the further deployment of data and technology in agriculture; specifically in food production, processing, distribution, security, efficiency, and sustainability
Event Recap Nov 18, 2020
Event recap | Data, security, and the global food system
By GeoTech Center
On Wednesday, November 18, at 12:00 p.m. EST, a panel of experts discussed what the tech industry can bring to modern agriculture as part of the Center’s weekly GeoTech Hour programming.
Event Recap Nov 24, 2020
Event recap | AI, gene editing and guaranteeing a stable seed supply
By GeoTech Center
As a part of the GeoTech Center’s AgriTechAction 2020, Mr. Jeff Rowe, President of Global Seeds for Syngenta, was interviewed by Ms. Daniella Taveau, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the GeoTech Center and expert in developing global business and regulatory strategies.
Event Recap Dec 3, 2020
GeoTech vlog | Co-commissioners and their outlook for the future
By Borja Prado
Teresa Carlson (AWS) and John Goodman (Accenture) inaugurate the first episode of the GeoTech Vlog by describing their work as co-chairs of the GeoTech Commission, and as they find ways to navigate this era of significant change while leveraging the infinite possibilities offered by technology and data.
From our GeoTech fellows & friends
GeoTech Cues Dec 7, 2020
Reimagining a just society pt. 1 | Is a different world possible?
By Carol Dumaine
The GeoTech Center’s mission is to define practicable initiatives to ensure new technologies and advances in data capabilities benefit people, prosperity, and peace in open societies. Its overarching goal is a “world comprised of just societies.” The GeoTech’s mandate is an ambitious one and, while focused on applying new technologies to solutions to global problems, is anchored in an explicit assumption that its efforts will promote just societies.
In the News Nov 12, 2020
Data Trusts: The key to better AI
By Atlantic Council
“The journey to becoming a data-driven organization fit for the emerging AI economy is long and arduous. Data trusts are an opportunity for collaboration between organizations to make that journey faster, less costly, and less risky. And they can make data-monetization rewards more handsome by co-developing marketable AI applications and giving third parties controlled access to members’ data. Moreover, as we discovered during our pilot, a data trust can also help inspire creativity, cross-functional collaboration, and innovation, and can attract digital talent. As wearables, smart appliances, and 5G networks proliferate and combine into the “Intelligent Internet of Things,” data sharing and collaboration will become the norm. Data trusts can help companies make the leap to this new era.”
In the News Oct 22, 2020
Nikhil Raghuveera: Mission-driven cryptocurrency requires an active commitment to equity
By Atlantic Council
“For cryptocurrency to meaningfully move “the needle on large global challenges,” as Armstrong writes, the underlying causes of inequality must be addressed. And while mission-driven cryptocurrency organizations cannot expect to do this alone, they have an important role to play in developing and directing their products to be used in the service of addressing the underlying problems. Those who declare they’re on a social mission inevitably sign themselves up for this challenge.”
GeoTech Cues Nov 2, 2020
Silicon Valley’s role in foreign policy and what others can learn from it, Part I
By Alexandre Lazarow (Guest Author)
In the last twenty years, one of the United States’ key exports has been the technology coming out of Silicon Valley—and along with it, its particular brand of innovation culture. Unsurprisingly, innovation has risen to the top of policy makers’ agendas around the world. Yet, creating carbon copies of Silicon Valley is not the answer. To compete in the increasingly global innovation arena, countries and companies are writing a new playbook.