The Quantum Race: Parallels, Powers and Perils (QRP3)Project Q Sydney2021-08-18T15:48:54+10:00
The University of Sydney and Q Station 22-24 February 2019
A quantum race begs questions of beginnings, scale and boundaries. The field of quantum mechanics first emerged from a collaborative international race to explain, through the principles of uncertainty, entanglement and the wave function, how the microphysical world works. Laboratory validations were followed by a race to produce the first practical applications, including many of the technological markers of modernity, like thermonuclear weapons, transistors, lasers, LEDs and mobile phones. Quantum is now scaling up to the macrophysical, in a race to develop quantum computing, communications and artificial intelligence as well as to explain and model photosynthesis, bird migration, chemical reactions and most controversially, human consciousness. Hyped by media, popularized in film, promoted by corporations and accelerated by states, the quantum race has generated new metaphysical debates about the ethics of AI, the role of surveillance and the nature of reality itself. QRP3 will explore the geopolitical power, historical parallels and negative as well as positive consequences of a quantum race.