Key stakeholders to attend meeting on quantum computing at White House

Given its wide ranging potential, Washington wants to develop and leverage the power of quantum computing which is currently in its infancy.

On Monday, in efforts aimed at boosting efforts at quantum computing, the White House is set to hold a meeting with academic experts, U.S. government officials, and leading tech companies including Alphabet Inc, IBM Corp, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Quantum computers could easily operate millions of times faster than today’s cutting edge supercomputers.

The promising technology, still in its infancy, will have a significant impact on a wide range of industries including financial services, healthcare, artificial intelligence, communications, weather forecasting, transportation, and others.

Obviously, the technology has national security implications.

The meeting was organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

According to a statement by Jake Taylor, the office’s assistant director for quantum information science, the administration plans on publishing a strategy on Monday on ways to advance the next-generation technology.

The meeting is aimed at “bringing key stakeholders together and really develop a plan to help make quantum computing a reality and look for input on what additional steps the government can take”, said Taylor.

The meeting will also be attended by officials from the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, White House National Security Council, NASA and the federal departments of energy, agriculture, homeland security, state and interior, among others.

In an interview, IBM’s vice president of technology policy Tim Sheehy said, the meeting “gets academia, government, industry together and says how can we make our individual efforts into a greater collective whole.”

Representatives from Lockheed Martin Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Honeywell International Inc, Northop Grumman Corp, AT&T Inc, Intel Corp and other companies are also set to attend.

Quantum computing “will enable us to predict and improve chemical reactions, new materials and their properties, as well as provide new understandings of spacetime and the emergence of our universe,” and could be realized within a decade, reads a White House memo.

On September 13, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on quantum information science to “create a unified national quantum strategy” that would authorize $1.3 billion in funding through 2023.

Lamar Smith, the bill’s co-author, who incidentally chairs the House Science Committee, is scheduled to speak at the meeting.


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