The Quantum Imperative: Addressing the Legal Dimension of Quantum Computers
(2021) 1 (1) Morals & Machines 52-59
9 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2021 Last revised: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: April 5, 2021
Quantum computers are legal things which are going to affect our lives in a tangible manner. As such, their operation and development must be regulated and supervised. No doubt, the transformational potential of quantum computing is remarkable. But if it goes unchecked the development of quantum computers is also going to impact social and legal power-relations in a remarkable manner. Legal principles that can guide regulatory action must be developed in order to hedge the risks associated with the development of quantum computing. This article contributes to the development of such principles by proposing the quantum imperative. The quantum imperative provides that regulators and developers must ensure that the development of quantum computers: (1) does not create or exacerbate inequalities, (2) does not undermine individual autonomy, and that it (3) does not occur without consulting those whose interests they affect.
Keywords: Quantum law, Quantum computer, quantum mechanics, quantum imperative, regulation of technology, innovation policy, ethics of technology, responsibility of researchers
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