Quantum Ethics ?

Here is my initial contribution to the question of how to address ethical issues of quantum technologies.

First, I think there will be for some long time lack of knowledge and incorrect understanding in the general public what quantum computers and quantum technologies are, due to the disagreements and lack of explanation for the quantum phenomena. This lack of knowledge will at one moment inhibit the public discussion about the innovations and use of these technologies. We can see that by euphoria when some news about quantum are announced (example of Google’s quantum “supremacy” and similar) and this euphoria can go in the opposite direction and become negative in case of a real or only perceived misuse or dangers of quantum computers. How do we address this? It is very difficult question, but it cannot be ignored. People don’t understand even AI, with quantum computers it can be much worse.

The next problem is that quantum computers will not be used in isolation. They will be deeply integrated in a stack of other technologies, and people will judge the whole stack together (like the 4th Industrial Revolution concept – 4IR) based on its effects on the society, human identity or the natural environment. These “4IR technologies” will be judged by their domains of application and by who is applying these technologies for what purpose.

Now, we know that there will be two major actors behind AI and quantum: large corporations and nation-states. First are developing and using various kinds of technologies for the profit purposes, and the second are using them for the regime maintenance or warfare.

Consider an example: quantum can be used by AI, which is used by a metaverse world, which is used by a digital platform, which is used by a company to develop and target advertisements, entertainment or video games to the young population. They all want to make their respective customer(s) engaged. Now, you can read this word “engaged” also as addicted. So, who is responsible for the addiction of the young users, which technology should be regulated, and where should we apply ethics ? When you take them isolated, we can find arguments that these technologies are value-neutral. But the final result might not be value-neutral.

So, the question is: what should be done with that? Luke Munn in his paper says: “AI Ethics has largely been useless”. This reflects the inconvenient truth that all governance initiatives to regulate technology were more or less unsuccessful. You may check this paper of Roger Clarke, which details all unsuccessful technology regulation attempts much before this AI hype. According to this paper, the only mechanism that could work is Co-regulation, but under the condition that there is a strong and uncompromising minister who stakes his personal accountability. In other words, some kind of benevolent dictator coming from the government.

Nevertheless, this topic is indeed important. Currently digital platforms like Facebook, Google and alike are not so invested in QC, but once the large quantum computers are up and running, naturally the capital will look for the use cases to address the market of billions of consumers. And when this happens, the neuroscience might achieve mapping of the brain, genetical engineering may achieve breakthroughs in gene editing, and AI will probably come to the level of artificial general intelligence (AGI). And in this context, ethics will become very important and indeed the people will judge all this stack. Maybe indiscriminately..

Chips War

My previous post would not be to the point without analyzing in more details the situation around microprocessors in China and how it could evolve. For what was initially the competition between developed nations fighting for market dominance, is about to become the most important global geopolitical battle, which I think can be called ‘Chips War’ between the US and China.
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China AI 2023

Some analysts have recently said that the West can either technologically become the follower of China, or slowly decline into the status of a colony, or if it wants to avoid these scenarios, take urgent actions to leapfrog the current status of lethargy and denial. Read this article on how the approach to AI differs between China and the West, and why Europe has to take action now.
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SEF 2023

I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate at Swiss Economic Forum during two days, on June 8-9 this year.

SEF is the most important annual conference for Swiss executives and this year it was even more prestigious as the 25th anniversary edition. The talks were in areas of the financial system, sustainability, geopolitics, innovation and of course digital technologies.

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Privacy in Digital Society

Privacy is a big concern in digital society. In the original prehistoric community, people lived together and there was no privacy. But these people shared the common destiny. If there was a hunger, they would all be hungry. If the tribe gets a disease, all members would be impacted. However, when they would encounter another tribe, that tribe would be seen as a rival, so they would not share information, at least until they are sure they were not competing for the same resources. Even then they would not share all knowledge, but only a necessary minimum and respecting the reciprocity principle. Nowadays, it should be similar. We should not keep our private information away from those with whom we share common destiny, but we should not share our personal information with those who are not going to be hungry if we are.

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AI for Digital Marketing

Last November I was invited to give a course on Artificial Intelligence for Digital Marketing at EBS school in Geneva. EBS stands for European Business School that was created jointly with CREA, which is specialised in digital communications and digital marketing. EBS runs bachelor’s and master’s degrees in digital business, which are nowadays quite relevant. AI for digital business is also very much relevant, as marketeers all over the world are usually among the first to adopt new technologies and new gadgets.

So, how can one leverage artificial intelligence in digital marketing ? I assume that readers know already the theory of artificial intelligence and main approaches (state-based algorithms, machine learning, deep learning), so I will not talk about the ML training process, cost functions, gradient descent, kernels, neural networks and other techniques. I will start with explaining the difference among very similar expressions used around artificial intelligence, then I will describe high-value use cases, and in the end how to successfully implement all this, so that your project flies like a rocket. So, I will stay with high-level and business-relevant explanations.

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IBM Global Qiskit Summer School 2021

In July this year, IBM organized their already traditional Qiskit Summer School, and I was lucky enough to be able to register and follow.

Qiskit is a programming framework for coding quantum algorithms on IBM quantum computers. It is developed and maintained not only by IBM developers, but also a large community of external developers and Qiskit Advocates (to which I also belong). Qiskit summer school this year (GQSS21) was focused on quantum machine learning, a very exciting field at the intersection between quantum computing and machine learning. During two weeks, we learned about topics like:

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AI Graduate Certificate

Finally I completed AI Graduate Certificate program at Stanford University and obtained this pretigious certificate in artificial intelligence. It was quite intensive and difficult, and several times I considered giving up. My math skills were quite rusty, I didn’t have enough time taking into account my full-time work and family obligations, but in the end I’ve managed it!

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