The Hudson Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, hosted a conference on January 17 to address the question of how the U.S. and Japan can collaborate on scientific and technical challenges posed by the rise of quantum computing. NTT Research PHI Lab Director Dr. Yoshihisa Yamamoto participated as a panelist at the one-day event.
Known for helping public policy makers and global leaders in government and business manage strategic transitions to the future, the Hudson Institute established the Quantum Alliance Initiative (QAI) in 2017 with an awareness of the benefits and potential challenges associated with quantum computing, the positive role that allies can play in this transitional period, and the need for a secure “supply chain” of quantum technologies. Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Arthur Herman, author of nine books and director of the QAI, organized this conference to explore how the U.S. and Japan can build a sustainable network for fostering cooperation in the quantum information science sector.
“Japan is not only a vital U.S. ally and economic partner, but also home to some of quantum computing’s leading pioneers and innovators, including Dr. Yamamoto, whom we were delighted could join us at this conference,” Herman said. “The research agenda at the NTT Research PHI Lab is a great example of the kind of collaboration that we think is crucial as quantum computing continues to develop technically and then gains traction through transformational and real-world applications.”
In November, NTT Research announced that its PHI Lab had reached joint research agreements with six universities, one U.S. Federal agency and one private quantum computing software company. The PHI Lab and its research partners are exploring an approach to new computing scheme, coherent Ising machine, that works at the intersection of quantum physics, neuroscience and optical technology. At the Hudson Institute event, Dr. Yamamoto reviewed the PHI Lab’s initiatives and struck a cautionary note for the industry at large.
“My talk included a critical comment on present over-selling attitudes within the quantum community,” Dr. Yamamoto said. “There is grave risk in being less than truthful, and scientists in particular should be forthright in delivering accurate information about technologies and capabilities, whether to a company or a community or a government.”
Titled “The US-Japan Alliance in the Age of Quantum: A New Chapter in Scientific and Technological Cooperation,” the conference drew other leading quantum scientists and engineers from the U.S. and Japan, and recognized experts in science and technology policy. Keynote speakers included Ambassador Kazutoshi Aikawa, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in the U.S., Dr. Jacob Taylor, Assistant Director for Quantum Information Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and Hudson Institute President and CEO Ken Weinstein. The morning session addressed “Perspectives on Quantum Research in the U.S. and Japan.” The afternoon session focused on “Building the U.S.-Japan Quantum Network.”