Congressman: Quantum Computing Equivalent to Being First to Acquire ‘Digital Nuclear Bomb’

Late last week, Congressman Mike McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, equated the pursuit of a breakthrough on quantum computing to the nuclear arms race, arguing that the technology would be a game-changing tool, according to FedScoop’s Carten Cordell.

“I think whatever superpower gets that first, it would be like the equivalent of first digital nuclear bomb,” McCaul said. “Whatever country that gets that first is going be an extraordinary superpower. It will blow computing as we know it out of the water.”

According to Cordell, McCaul argued that “China’s investments in emerging technologies and its ongoing theft of Western intellectual property mean that the U.S. and its Five Eyes intelligence allies — Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — should cooperate on tech developments that could protect their supply chain,” cautioning that the United States should avoid approaching quantum computing the way it has approached 5G wireless technology.

“I’ll make sure the appropriators put a lot of money into this because it is so important that we be the first country to get to quantum and not the Chinese,” he said. “That would put us at a great disadvantage if they got there first. And it seems to me that the Five Eyes, being our closest intelligence allies, working together on this makes sense.”

Cordell adds that “although researchers around the world are making steady advancements on quantum computing, the consensus is that no nation has developed QIS capabilities that yet threaten the supremacy of traditional computing,” noting, however that Congress has put forth legislation to coordinate research efforts in both U.S. public and private sectors centered on quantum computing, while the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently chartered a QIS subcommittee to oversee federal research efforts.”

To learn more about quantum computing, check out FEDmanager's featured video of the week here.

Posted in From the Hill

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