United States President Joe Biden announced he would be signing an Executive Order to propel the nation's quantum information science (QIS) initiatives forward.
The White House says the EO will lay the groundwork for America to continue its leadership in "an enormously promising field of science and technology." The initiative will also help mitigate the risks that quantum computers potentially pose to the country's security.
When signed, the EO will enhance the National Quantum Initiative, which is the government's independent advisory body for quantum information science and technology. The Initiative will be placed directly under the authority of the White House, ensuring all departments and agencies are provided the best information on QIS when it comes to policymaking.
QIS is generally known as a broad field of science and engineering, but the EO will really focus on quantum computers. A statement from the White House discusses:
"Quantum computers, one of the many promising applications of QIS, are not a replacement to traditional computers. Rather, they are a fundamentally different kind of computer, with the ability to analyze information in ways that traditional computers cannot. While QIS itself is not new, recent breakthroughs in QIS have shown the potential to drive innovations across the American economy, from energy to medicine, through advancements in computation, networking and sensing. Breakthroughs in QIS are poised to generate entirely new industries, good-paying jobs, and economic opportunities for all Americans."
Addressing the risks of quantum computing
Along with the EO, Biden will sign a National Security Memorandum, outlining the government's plan to address the risks of quantum computing.
Research shows that once quantum computing reaches a certain level of sophistication, it will be able to crack almost all of the cryptography that currently secures our digital communications on the internet.
That is a tremendous risk for everyone, so it is important to develop a plan to mitigate the risks of QIS. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is set to publish new quantum-resistant cryptographic standards, protecting against attacks that could happen in the future when the technology is ready.
The White House says that the memorandum:
- "Positions the United States to remain a global leader in technology development, and Quantum Information Science in particular."
- "Initiates collaboration between the Federal Government and the private sector."
- "Sets requirements for Federal agencies to update cryptographic systems."
- "Protects United States technology."
For more information on QIS and plans the U.S. government has moving forward, see the statement from the White House.