Project Description

The Quantum Meta-Ethics Workshop

Quantum Meta-Ethics (QM-E) is the latest initiative of Project Q, a seven-year investigation funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York into the societal and geopolitical implications of quantum innovation. With support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and in partnership with the New Delhi Observer Research Foundation (ORF), QM-E now seeks to put these findings into practice by developing ethical frameworks for emerging quantum technologies. The first QM-E workshop is openly speculative, exploring three meta-ethical questions that emerged from the sixth annual Q Symposium. First, what lessons are to be learned from previous efforts to apply ethical standards to critical technologies? Second, what constitutes ethical behaviour, best practices and responsible innovation in quantum technology? Third, how best to produce ethical accords consistent with international law, human rights and climate justice that are also actionable across multiple sectors of quantum innovation? The workshop findings will provide the framework for a QM-E symposium in 2022.

The workshop is a thought experiment in the form of a survey, focus group and ethical hack. The survey will be facilitated by Remesh, an online platform that uses AI-assisted polling to generate and collate realtime findings from paricipants across multiple sectors. To bridge CISS and ORF participation (and to accommodate time-zone differences), a North American session will be held in the morning, followed by an Indo-Pacific session in the afternoon. Each session will consist of three parts: an interactive survey and focus group by all participants on ethics and best practices for quantum technology; a ‘Meta-Ethical Hack’ to test for risks posed by quantum technology as well as for vulnerabilities to cognitive errors, structural flaws and implicit biases in normative, cultural and regulatory responses; and a general discussion about the workshop findings and next stages of the project.

This event is made possible through the support of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Sydney Quantum Academy and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The University of Sydney.