The Quantum Law Project
The Quantum Law Project at Lund University’s Faculty of Law is the first research project dedicated specifically to the study of the legal implications of quantum computing. The project is funded by and forms part of the Wallenberg Foundations’ ‘Initiative for Humanistic and Social Scientific Research in AI and Autonomous Systems’ (WASP-HS). In the course of this 10-year initiative, the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation will invest 660 million SEK into research projects that study the ethical, economic, labour market, social and legal aspects of the ongoing technological transformation of society.
Substantively, the Quantum Law Project aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of the legal implications of the emergence of quantum computing with respect to autonomous systems and AI. Every autonomous system, every application of artificial intelligence relies at its core on the collection, computation and correlation of information. Traditionally, such tasks are carried out by computers that process information in ‘bits’ which can exist in one of two states: 0 or 1. Quantum computers are fundamentally different. They utilise ‘qubits’ which can be both 0 and 1 at the same time, and this number of states doubles with each additional qubit. As a result, information can be processed much faster, significantly more information can be stored and, crucially, calculations too complex for classical computers can be undertaken. This will dramatically enhance the capacities of autonomous systems and AI. Already, car companies, pharmaceutical corporations, energy providers etc. race to harness the powers of quantum computing. Apart from more applied questions, the emergence of quantum computers, like any technology or architecture, also raises normative questions concerning the (in)deterministic nature of the universe or the ability to capture complex social processes by digital means.
While the Quantum Law Project aims to carry out a comprehensive appraisal of the legal implications of quantum computing on autonomous systems and AI, the project focusses on three question in particular: How does quantum computing affect the practice of law? (Timo Minssen) How does quantum computing affect the legal process? (Jeffery Atik) How does quantum computing affect metaphysical assumptions about law? (Valentin Jeutner)