Chicago Quantum Exchange Summit 2023 – Laurie Locascio
Good morning! It's such a pleasure to be here. And, thank you Dr. Awschalom and, of course, Dr. Alivisatos for having me. You know, it's wonderful to really have so many people gathered here from academia and government and industry and all around the Chicago area really coming together at this time. And, it's most exciting to be here because, of course, the Chicago Quantum Exchange and their collaborators were recently selected by the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration the Block tech Hub was was named one of the regional technology and Innovation hubs for quantum computing and communications. And, that's that's a really cool thing. So, congratulations, you already mentioned that. NIST is in the Department of Commerce—that's our sister agency—and we're in the Department of Commerce because our goal is really around promoting economic competitiveness and economic security. But, I'm happy to be here today talking. First of all, I guess how many people know NIST?
Wow! I love quantum! I mean I love quantum. Do you know how many rooms I'll stand in and I'll ask that and they don't know. But, we do have a long history in quantum. And, it's exciting to be here to talk to you
a little bit about not only that but some of the other work that NIST is recently involved in and charged with within the federal government that really does hopefully intersect quantum in in many different ways. But, it's also exciting to to be here to talk about partnership because NIST doesn't do any of its work without partnership. We pride ourselves on being really good partners not only to academia but also industry and government to get our work done to really combine our researchers with the other best minds in the country to really accelerate and promote the advancements of science and technology.
So, next slide please. Oh, I think I have control of it thank you. I can do this—ah there we go! Alright, so NIST has a lot going on right now. NIST's mission is really to promote U.S. Innovation and industrial competitiveness. That's been our mission since we were born in 1901, but, of course, the industries of today are very different from the industries of yesterday.
And, so, we really do morph and change and are agile enough to meet the needs of the industries that are important for today's economy. And, so, of course, critical and emerging technologies are essential for the U.S. economic competitiveness and national security and are a priority for NIST. And, so, I'm going to highlight four different programs that we're currently involved in. Today, NIST is proud to lead the implementation of the $50 billion CHIPS for America program in the Department of Commerce. We also lead the implementation of the U.S. government's National Standard
Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies. We have a central role in the newly signed executive order on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. And then, of course, NIST is a leading agency in the National Quantum Initiative. So, let me let me talk about each one of these just separately, but briefly within the CHIPS for America program NIST will be spending $39 billion dollar to ensure that the United States is a world leader in the next generation of microelectronics by developing a domestic base for semiconductor manufacturing within the United States. The other $11 billion dollars that we have is really focused on building out the R&D program that promotes in that provides innovators with access to facilities and tools and expertise and really round out the investments in manufacturing to complement that with the R&D program that, once the manufacturers are here in this country, we will cement them here and keep them here because they won't want to leave when we have so much exciting research to support them.
You know this idea of manufacturing an R&D really is going to be and was and should be a virtuous cycle of innovation that allows innovations to get quickly to the manufacturing floor and vice versa. So, CHIPS for America will also support the development of the workforce that's necessary to support semiconductors sector in this country. It's anticipated that with this $52 billion total investment by the U.S. government that we will have about $200,000 new jobs available in the semiconductor sector. And, we we want to be able to fill those
jobs but also Inspire the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs and chip makers and and lower the barrier to them getting to be successful because right now it's a very heavy lift and very expensive to get into, get your ideas to market in this space. So, to be successful as I said: partnership, partnership, partnership is really important for NIST. We will partner with a diverse group of stakeholders from across the microelectronics sector.
Investments in the chips program will include integrated photonics and heterogeneous integration as well as investments in new R&D and, as I said, manufacturing infrastructure. And, we hope that all of this provides significant benefits to the growing quantum community and the growing quantum marketplace. So, of course the impact and influence of artificial intelligence only continues to grow and, of course, will shape our world in new ways through interfacing and intersecting with really all of the critical and emerging technologies, including quantum. On October 30th, President Biden signed an executive order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI and this executive order puts NIST in a central role and asks— us directs—to develop guidelines and best practices to ensure the development of safe, and deployment of safe, secure, and trustworthy AI systems. This builds on a long history that NIST has in fundamental and applied AI research. Also, our development of benchmarks and guidances and tools and frameworks and ultimately what we're seeking to do is development the measurement methods that allow you to determine whether your AI is safe and trustworthy and responsible.
And, we need to do that with the entire community through our engagement, not only nationally but also internationally. So, just last week after that announcement of the executive order the Biden Administration also announced the NIST-led AI Safety Institute, which will play a critical role in advancing the goals of the newly signed executive order. And, we'll be looking for partners! We're looking to partner extensively with academia and with industry through this new institute that we're setting up.
All of that, ultimately, is to really help shape the government's approach to responsible AI. And, this past spring the White House released the U.S. government's National Standard Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies.
And, NIST was assigned the lead role in executing that strategy, including the prioritization of quantum standards that ensure a strong future for the emerging quantum market. So, the standard strategy actually is a really good one. It creates a strategic approach to international standards development during this rapid pace of technology innovation that we're all living in. Why is this important? A lot of audiences that I talk to don't know why this is important, but standards underpin 93% of all in global trade and that in turn impacts trillions of dollars.
And, the U.S. for decades has really been at the center of international standards development and that has benefited in almost in every single industry in the United States and ultimately has greatly impacted our economy. You may not realize the importance of standards, but if you have a company and you want to sell products on the market either nationally or globally it's better if your technology sets the gold standard then if you're a follower where you could actually get driven out of the marketplace. So, the standard strategy that the U.S. government devised is a really solid one, as I said, it's a good one. It prioritizes investment in R&D in this country because it understands and drives it the fact that if we don't have the R&D that promotes the best technology innovations in the world, then we will not have success at the standards table—we can't be the standard setter, right.
It also prioritizes participation by our best experts in the standards process, and that's something the U.S. also needs in order to stay competitive in the global marketplace. So, the standard strategy specifically calls out critical technologies, like quantum information technologies. And, the NIST team is coordinating across the U.S. government to strengthen our involvement and our participation in international standards development efforts working with the private sector and we're very interested in working with academia as well.
We welcome your thoughts on how best to get engagement in the standards processes, in particular by academia and academic experts and smaller companies and innovators. We actually have a request for information out there now closes on December 15th and we'd love to hear your thoughts in particular for instance have you ever considered participating in the standards process? And, if not, why not? And what would encourage you to be a part of it? Because we need our best minds at the table in order to secure our future in global competitiveness. So, I hope you will help in joining us to assure that standards development in quantum information technologies receives the attention it needs in the early days of these of the market.
And, this will dictate which technologies are premiere in the future global markets. Okay, so many NIST experts participate in a lot of different developments on the international standard setting and international standard setting bodies. One example is NIST participates in this joint committee between ISO and IEC in participation in work particularly related to the development of quantum standards.
I know it's early and we can talk about why quantum standards are being developed so early, but I won't go into that here. Just to say that we need to be there and present at that table while they're being developed and proposed by other countries. NIST quantum researchers also responded to feedback from our industry partners telling us that there was a need for basic definitions in the fields of single photon measurements. And, in September they completed what's on this chart here: the dictionary for single photon sources and detectors. And, writing this document was a three-year effort which involved many national and international experts.
And, it's already received a lot of attention from standards organizations and other other federal agencies who are interested in using it. And, then, of course, the National Quantum Initiative. And, that's critically important to all the agencies, to all the partners, and of course to NIST.
The National Quantum Initiative is a whole of government approach to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States. It has been extraordinary in its impact and really pushing forward the quantum research in this country. And, it provides an overarching framework to continue to strengthen and coordinate quantum information sciences across U.S. government and industry and academia. Now, NIST has a leadership role in supporting the national priorities laid out by the NQIA, the national Quantum initiative act. Our mission combined with a history of excellence in quantum research makes it a very natural fit for us.
And, so, we are continuing our work in basic R&D, including the foundational research into the essential theories that underpin quantum information science. But, we also do research in quantum engineering to provide more robust quantum systems and measurement infrastructure to advance commercial development of quantum applications. Now, NIST in our quantum research has for many, many years leveraged our strengths with other strengths in academia and we have several long-standing partnerships related to quantum: the Joint Quantum Institute, or JQI, and the Joint Center for Quantum information and Computer Science (both with the University of Maryland); and JILA with the University of Colorado. And, the way these work, um we just don't provide funding for them, but our researchers are really form about half the workforce in the joint centers.
And, we come together and really leverage each other's strengths and knowledge. And, so, so it's been really important, I think, for our success and for our future to not only leverage these institutes but think about where we're going in the future and how to build new partnerships around quantum around AI and around CHIPS. So, our collaborations are are not just academic, as called for by the NQIA. NIST established and remains of very active member in the QED-C, or the Quantum Economic Development Consortium. I'll talk about that in the next slide, but this staff also participate
in both NSF and the DOE Quantum Centers and one of our quantum researchers, Dr Gretchen Campbell, is on detail in the White House to the National Quantum Coordination Office. So, through the NQI, U.S. government are being coordinated, of course, to advance quantum technology from the fundamental underpinnings of the science to developing Quantum applications to engineering robust systems to providing the foundations of a trained workforce to providing the foundations of a strong supply chain and then to developing standards that the U.S. needs to mature the U.S. quantum economy.
Now, 2023 marks the halfway point for the National Quantum Initiative Act. I know a a lot of you are following what's going on, the reauthorization bill that came out on November 3rd introduced by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. We're excited about that. We're looking forward to that. Now, as a sign of the strength of the quantum ecosystem in the Chicago area, I note that two of the 15 members on the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee are from this area. Dr. Fred Chong and Dr. Nadia Mason, both from the University of Chicago. And, NIST is proud to say that we have Jun Ye also as a member.
Now, NIST has long supported and will continue to support and grow the quantum ecosystem. We've been investing in this area for many many decades. A lot of that really the work that comes out of NIST is based on measurement science which is the heart of the NIST mission.
And, we are all always pushing to advance the frontiers of measurement—our ability to measure things. And, it's not surprising then that our work took us decades ago into the quantum realm because there we are truly at the fundamental limits of measurement. And, our breakthroughs in quantum science is really reflected in, among other areas, our pioneering work in atomic clocks and the development of more accurate sensors and measurement tools. In fact, the first major QIS workshop was held at NIST Gaithersburg campus in 1994. It was within a year of Shor's algorithm being announced and and just a year later NIST researcher David Wineland, who's up here at the at the at the far end of this slide, demonstrated the first quantum gate using trapped ions. A young postdoc named Chris Monroe, who's now
at Duke of course, was in that group and would go on to found IonQ and John Martinez who would lead Google's Quantum Computing efforts was also at NIST in the early '90s working on [inaudible]. And, Wineland's group also would go on to influence quantum. So, NIST researcher stretching from the '80s into the 2000s led to four Nobel Prizes, include including Dave Wineland's.
The other Nobel Prizes were for cooling of atoms with lasers, the invention of frequency combs, and the first realization of Bose-Einstein condensate. But, today, NIST continues to drive forward by providing basic research and development. And, again, part of our success relies on partnering with other agencies with industry and academia, including the world-class organizations here in this area.
For example, NIST researchers will be participating in round robin measurements of superconducting devices that launched last week at Fermilab. Okay, so, I just mentioned Shor's algorithm and this was already mentioned in my introduction. Shor's algorithm poses an immense liability, of course, to current implementations of public key cryptography.
Cryptography is also a focus area for NIST and NIST has taken a leadership role in the development and the evaluation of secure algorithms for post-quantum cryptography or PQC. NIST work in PQC aims to develop cryptographic systems that are secure against both quantum and classical computers and can interoperate with current communication protocols and and networks. Now, fortunately, back in 2016 NIST realized that this security concern could be a potential problem and we launched an open competition for new classic-based algorithms that would be resistant to both classical and quantum computers. And, we received submissions from across the world of algorithms. And, researchers from industry and academia and government have been rigorously testing them for over a year. So, I'm happy to report that, in August, NIST released draft federal information processing standards or FIPS for the first PQC algorithms.
The standards are now available for comment. People are still working on them and testing them and they are expected to be finalized early next year. And, we look forward to publishing them and to working with stakeholders on equitable deployment of PQC, which is going to be very very rigorous and difficult. Okay, so beyond our push to advance science we also carry out our larger mission of supporting industry. I did mention the QED-C and the QED-C is a a very important. It's a thriving industry-led consortium focused on growing a robust commercial quantum industry and the associated supply chain.
Right now it has over 170 members from industry, more than 35 academic institutions, and nine professional societies, and 50 government partners. I know many of you are already engaged with them if you aren't uh please engage because it holds workshops, it writes really reports on topics ranging from quantum use cases to global market landscape, it develops roadmaps for quantum technologies, it runs activities to support the quantum workforce, and it has developed benchmarks for testing and evaluating quantum computers. And, I will say that the QED-C provides inputs on policies that impact the emerging industry such as export controls.
So, it's a very important entity and a very important contribution back to government. Workforce development is very important to NIST because we want to make sure we have a skilled and diverse workforce to answer all of these technology needs and continue to build our tech economy. I won't mention all of these, but I just want to mention that we have a very robust summer undergraduate research fellowship program. We had 175 summer undergraduate interns at NIST in Gaithersburg in Maryland this summer.
And, another important point that I wanted to show from this slide is that we host NRC post postdoctoral fellows from across a broad range of research. It's a highly competitive program and but we have people in chemistry, physics, material science, mathematics, computer science, engineering all coming to the campuses coupling with our world class research staff and facilities and many NIST former postdocs are now leaders in quantum fields. So, I think I'm at the end of my talk I just wanted to mention that we do work in collaboration with the community on training the workforce and this is a workshop that we held with the University of Colorado in Boulder on single photon sources, detectors, and measurements. And, then, finally, looking to the future I just wanted to again congratulate the Chicago Quantum Exchange and the region for their new announcement on the Tech Hub. And ,I'm delighted to be here, to be in person, to be able to answer your questions. Thank you. [Applause] Questions for Lori? Thanks for an excellent talk.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: This executive order for the safe use of AI and that NIST would be central to developing measurements for that. Now, of course, when we're talking about the safe use of AI these aren't the things I necessarily associate with NIST with, right? This isn't measuring something to one part in 10 of the 15 or how much wattage for eye safety, right? These are issues of ethics and politics and so forth. So, is this a change for NIST's sort of mission? LORI LOCASCIO: Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: ...to be central to this or or am I misunderstanding?
LORI LOCASCIO: Yeah, you know. I appreciate that question. It's interesting because—you're right—it's very different from what people know NIST to be. We are...I mentioned that as a society and the market changes NIST has really adapted to grow and change and evolve to be part of that. So, as the digital economy started growing we started growing our efforts related to the digital economy. That's unlike most other national metrology institutes in the world world, where we have really expanded our capabilities to envelop those things that are most important to our economy, including the digital economy.
With AI you're absolutely right it's new and it's different because there will not only be technical character characteristics that we have to measure robustness accuracy, things like that, but also socio-technical characteristics...very different, right? So, we are um excited about this it's going to to be very difficult a lot of these things that we need these characteristics that we need to measure not just um things like bias but also safety and security are very difficult to measure. And, so, we have for instance put together a public working group on generative AI where it's over 2,000 people participate in that really coming together to think as a community, "How do we approach the measurement of things like safety and security and and bias?" And, so, yeah, it's a new field. It's going to be hard but we intend to really bring everybody together with us to do it. We're not going to do this one alone and so ethicist will definitely be a part of it. Thank you!
SUPRATIK GUHA: I had a very quick question for you: So, when the CHIPS and Science Act got announced in August of last year, you were one of the key people who actually got it going, right? And, I think there's a there's a realization now that, you know, quantum information processing and classical computing are going to merge at some point and which means that the quantum technologies and microelectronics have to come hand in hand. How do you see the role of, you know, quantum with microelectronics as the CHIPS Act, you know the consequences of it, are rolled out. LORI LOCASCIO: Yeah, so I appreciate that. And, I will say that the R&D program is still being developed—the $11 billion dollar part of the program. Announcements are going to be coming out soon but we have launched the formation of the National Semicondctor Technology Center as a public private partnership and an independent 50c3 or type of organization. And, so, I will say the writing is still not on the wall. There's still a lot that needs
to be decided in in terms of what is going to be funded, but I will say there is a difference in that the CHIPS Act did not call specifically call out quantum. Er, the CHIPS in Science Act did but not the CHIPS portion. It didn't call out the funding of quantum; but, there are so many opportunities where they intersect that I truly know that there will be um research that either greatly impacts quantum or directly funds quantum. All of that is still left to be decided by this independent entity that that is going to be managing most of the funding.
SUPRATIK GUHA: I look forward to it. Thank you. LORI LOCASCIO: Yeah, me too. Thanks. SUPRATIK GUHA: I think we have time for one more quick question.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Please, in which area in general...where do we stand with China? LORI LOCASCIO: That's that's that's interesting but I am a part of the administration; so, I'm gonna leave that one to Jerry! [Laughs] No, no I will say...so you know they are our biggest competitor right. So, I think we have to have our eyes wide open that we have a very, very strong global competitor right now. And, I think a lot of the energy that you're seeing in Washington is really around the facts that we attention is being paid to the fact that we do have to compete in this global economy. We built the greatest tech economy in the world. Now, we're at this time where that is where we're we're experiencing competition unlike any other. Does that mean we don't collaborate? Of course not! It means we
collaborate. We still collaborate globally, but we have to go in with our eyes wide open. We have to make sure that we can secure our research so it doesn't get stolen. I don't think anybody in this audience wants their research to get stolen and go somewhere else. I mean even if you're sitting across if you're a company and you're sitting across the table from another company you don't want them to take your ideas either; so, I think that it's it's really being cognizant about making sure that we can protect what we produce, but at the same time making sure that we can still be a global collaborator.
Ideas don't happen within a single location in the world, right? So, we need to make sure that we all harness the best ideas and are able to work together. SUPRATIK GUHA: Thank you, Lori! [Applause]