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Quantum Technology: the Next Game Changer?
The 6th KAIST Global Strategy Institute Forum explores how quantum technology has evolved into a new growth engine for the future The participants of the 6th KAIST Global Strategy Institute (GSI) Forum on April 20 agreed that the emerging technology of quantum computing will be a game changer of the future. As KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee said in his opening remarks, the future is quantum and that future is rapidly approaching. Keynote speakers and panelists presented their insights on the disruptive innovations we are already experiencing. The three keynote speakers included Dr. Jerry M. Chow, IBM fellow and director of quantum infrastructure, Professor John Preskill from Caltech, and Professor Jungsang Kim from Duke University. They discussed the academic impact and industrial applications of quantum technology, and its prospects for the future. Dr. Chow leads IBM Quantum’s hardware system development efforts, focusing on research and system deployment. Professor Preskill is one of the leading quantum information science and quantum computation scholars. He coined the term “quantum supremacy.” Professor Kim is the co-founder and CTO of IonQ Inc., which develops general-purpose trapped ion quantum computers and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits. Two leading quantum scholars from KAIST, Professor June-Koo Kevin Rhee and Professor Youngik Sohn, and Professor Andreas Heinrich from the IBS Center for Quantum Nanoscience also participated in the forum as panelists. Professor Rhee is the founder of the nation’s first quantum computing software company and leads the AI Quantum Computing IT Research Center at KAIST. During the panel session, Professor Rhee said that although it is undeniable the quantum computing will be a game changer, there are several challenges. For instance, the first actual quantum computer is NISQ (Noisy intermediate-scale quantum era), which is still incomplete. However, it is expected to outperform a supercomputer. Until then, it is important to advance the accuracy of quantum computation in order to offer super computation speeds. Professor Sohn, who worked at PsiQuantum, detailed how quantum computers will affect our society. He said that PsiQuantum is developing silicon photonics that will control photons. We can’t begin to imagine how silicon photonics will transform our society. Things will change slowly but the scale would be massive. The keynote speakers presented how quantum cryptography communications and its sensing technology will serve as disruptive innovations. Dr. Chow stressed that to realize the potential growth and innovation, additional R&D is needed. More research groups and scholars should be nurtured. Only then will the rich R&D resources be able to create breakthroughs in quantum-related industries. Lastly, the commercialization of quantum computing must be advanced, which will enable the provision of diverse services. In addition, more technological and industrial infrastructure must be built to better accommodate quantum computing. Professor Preskill believes that quantum computing will benefit humanity. He cited two basic reasons for his optimistic prediction: quantum complexity and quantum error corrections. He explained why quantum computing is so powerful: quantum computer can easily solve the problems classically considered difficult, such as factorization. In addition, quantum computer has the potential to efficiently simulate all of the physical processes taking place in nature. Despite such dramatic advantages, why does it seem so difficult? Professor Preskill believes this is because we want qubits (quantum bits or ‘qubits’ are the basic unit of quantum information) to interact very strongly with each other. Because computations can fail, we don’t want qubits to interact with the environment unless we can control and predict them. As for quantum computing in the NISQ era, he said that NISQ will be an exciting tool for exploring physics. Professor Preskill does not believe that NISQ will change the world alone, rather it is a step forward toward more powerful quantum technologies in the future. He added that a potentially transformable, scalable quantum computer could still be decades away. Professor Preskill said that a large number of qubits, higher accuracy, and better quality will require a significant investment. He said if we expand with better ideas, we can make a better system. In the longer term, quantum technology will bring significant benefits to the technological sectors and society in the fields of materials, physics, chemistry, and energy production. Professor Kim from Duke University presented on the practical applications of quantum computing, especially in the startup environment. He said that although there is no right answer for the early applications of quantum computing, developing new approaches to solve difficult problems and raising the accessibility of the technology will be important for ensuring the growth of technology-based startups.
Digital Big Bang, Metaverse Technologies
The GSI Forum 2021 will explore the potential of new metaverse technologies that will change our daily lives KAIST will be hosting a live online international forum on Sept.8 at 9 am (KST) through its KAIST YouTube channel. The forum will explore global trends regarding metaverse technology innovations and applications and discuss how we can build a new technology ecosystem. Titled `Digital Big Bang, Metaverse Technology,' the Global Strategy Institute-International Forum 2021 will be the fourth event of its kind, following the three international forums held in 2020. The forum will delve into the development trends of metaverse platforms and AR/VR technologies and gather experts to discuss how such technologies could transform multiple aspects of our future, including education. President Kwang Hyung Lee explains in his opening remarks that new technologies are truly opening a new horizon for our lives, saying, “In the education sector, digital technology will also create new opportunities to resolve the longstanding pedagogical shortfalls of one-way knowledge delivery systems. New digital technologies will help to unlock the creativity of our students. Education tailored to the students’ individual levels will not only help them accumulate knowledge but improve their ability to use it. Universities around the world are now at the same starting line. We should carve out our own distinct metaverse that is viable for human interactions and diverse technological experiences that promote students’ creativity and collaborative minds.” Minster of Science and ICT Hyesook Lim will introduce how the Korean government is working to develop metaverse industries as a new potential engine of growth for the future in her welcoming remarks. The government’s efforts include collaborations with the private sector, investments in R&D, the development of talent, and regulatory reforms. Minister Lim will also emphasize the importance of national-level discussions regarding the establishment of a metaverse ecosystem and long-term value creation. The organizers have invited global experts to share their knowledge and insights. Kidong Bae, who is in charge of the KT Enterprise Project and ‘Metaverse One Team’ will talk about the current trends in the metaverse market and their implications, as well as KT’s XR technology references. He will also introduce strategies to establish and utilize a metaverse ecosystem, and highlight their new technologies as a global leader in 5G networks. Jinha Lee, co-founder and CPO of the American AR solution company Spatial, will showcase a remote collaboration office that utilizes AR technology as a potential solution for collaborative activities in the post-COVID-19 era, where remote working is the ‘new normal.’ Furthermore, Lee will discuss how future workplaces that are not limited by space or distance will affect our values and creativity. Professor Frank Steinicke from the University of Hamburg will present the ideal form of next-generation immersive technology that combines intelligent virtual agents, mixed reality, and IoT, and discuss his predictions for how the future of metaverse technology will be affected. Marco Tempest, a creative technologist at NASA and a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, will also be joining the forum as a plenary speaker. Tempest will discuss the potential of immersive technology in media, marketing, and entertainment, and will propose a future direction for immersive technology to enable the sharing of experiences, emotions, and knowledge. Other speakers include Beomjoo Kim from Unity Technologies Korea, Professor Woontaek Woo from the Graduate School of Culture Technology at KAIST, Vice President of Global Sales at Labster Joseph Ferraro, and CEO of 3DBear Jussi Kajala. They will make presentations on metaverse technology applications for future education. The keynote session will also have an online panel consisting of 50 domestic and overseas metaverse specialists, scientists, and teachers. The forum will hold a Q&A and discussion session where the panel members can ask questions to the keynote speakers regarding the prospects of metaverse and immersive technologies for education. GSI Director Hoon Sohn stated, "KAIST will seize new opportunities that will arise in a future centered around metaverse technology and will be at the forefront to take advantage of the growing demand for innovative science and technology in non-contact societies. KAIST will also play a pivotal role in facilitating global cooperation, which will be vital to establish a metaverse ecosystem.”
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