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By Bidemi Ologunde
Wed | Nov 1, 2023 | 12:01 PM PDT

In today's digital era, the nexus between advanced computation, security, and privacy has transformed into a complex tapestry. As artificial intelligence (AI) takes center stage in reshaping industries, ensuring the confidentiality and security of our data has never been more paramount. In this article, I will attempt to unravel the intertwined threads of AI, confidential computing, quantum cryptography, homomorphic encryption, and the pivotal role of cloud security services.

The advent of AI

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. Rooted in the realms of machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks, AI holds the promise of automating routine tasks, offering predictive insights, and even simulating human cognition.

Confidential computing

Confidential computing is a cutting-edge concept that deals with protecting data in use. While conventional encryption secures data at rest and in transit, confidential computing ensures that data remains encrypted even during computation. This is critical, especially when data is processed in cloud environments where trust might be a concern.

Quantum cryptography

As classical computers reach their limits, quantum computing, and with it, quantum cryptography, emerges. Quantum cryptography leverages the principles of quantum mechanics—primarily the behavior of quantum bits (or qubits). Its most prominent advantage is the ability to detect any eavesdropping. If a third party tries to intercept a quantum communication, it invariably disturbs the quantum state, thereby alerting the communicating parties. This promises a theoretically unhackable communication channel.

Arguments for and against AI vs. quantum cryptography
  • Scalability: While AI thrives, and continues to thrive, on big data, quantum cryptography currently faces scalability challenges.
  • Maturity: AI technologies have reached a certain maturity and widespread adoption, while quantum cryptography remains in the nascent stages.
  • Purpose: AI primarily aims at processing and learning from data, while quantum cryptography focuses on ultra-secure communication.

However, pitting AI against quantum cryptography is like comparing apples and oranges. They serve different purposes but can be complementary, especially when integrating secure, AI-driven solutions in the quantum world.

Homomorphic encryption: the middle ground?

Homomorphic encryption is a form of encryption that allows computations on ciphertexts, generating an encrypted result which, when decrypted, matches the result of the operations performed on the plaintext. In simpler terms, it allows encrypted data to be used without ever needing to decrypt it first. While it sounds like the perfect answer to our computational privacy concerns, there are catches. The computational overhead is quite significant, making it inefficient for certain kinds of tasks. Moreover, its "no need for trust" premise is attractive, but it's not a blanket solution due to these inherent limitations.

The keystone: cloud security services and hardware vendors

Amidst this security versus privacy ballet, cloud security services and hardware vendors continue to stand as timeless pillars. They not only offer the infrastructure but also the expertise to navigate the intricacies of securing data. Their role is pivotal in ensuring that the algorithms, encryption methods, and computational paradigms integrate seamlessly to offer a fortified, secure environment.


In the digital labyrinth of AI, quantum mechanics, and encryption, our quest for a secure digital future is ongoing. While each of these domains holds potential, understanding their intricacies, strengths, and limitations is crucial.