Quantum-ELSPI Topical Collection article: The Quantum Governance Stack: Models of Governance for Quantum Information Technologies

The emergence of quantum information technologies with potential application across diverse industrial, consumer and technical domains has thrown into relief the need for practical approaches to their governance. Technology governance must balance multiple objectives including facilitating technological development while meeting legal requirements, normative expectations and managing risks regarding the use of such technology. In this paper, we articulate a variety of idealised governance models and approaches for synthesising these complementary and sometimes competing objectives. We set out a comparative analysis of quantum governance in the context of existing models of technological governance. Using this approach, we develop an actor-instrument model for quantum governance, denoted the ‘quantum governance stack’, across a governance hierarchy from states and governments through to public and private institutions. Our model sets out key characteristics that quantum governance should exhibit at each level in the stack, including identification of stakeholder rights, interests and obligations impacted by quantum technologies and the appropriate instruments by which such impacts are managed. We argue that quantum governance must be responsive based on (a) the state of technology at the time; (b) resource and economic requirements for its development; and (c) assessments and estimates of the near-term and future impacts of such technology. Our work provides a pragmatic introduction to quantum governance by (a) specifying a taxonomy of governance actors and instruments and (b) providing examples of how different stakeholders within the stack might implement governance responses to quantum information technologies. It is intended for use by stakeholders in government, industry, academia and civil society to help inform their governance response to the quantum technology revolution.

DATE: May 22, 2023
TIME: 9:30 am - 9:50 am
Elija Perrier
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