Quantum Technology Impact Assessment


Publish Date:
April 20, 2023
Publication Title:
EU AI Alliance, European Commission
Government Advocacy
Related Organization(s):


Emergent abilities in large AI models such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), show the need to continuously improve and update technology impact assessment tools, closely following the pace of technology development. Technology impact assessment is about monitoring and determining the unintended, indirect, or delayed societal impacts of a future technological innovation. It is also about capitalizing on opportunities and enabling responsible innovation.

Shaping the quantum innovation process

Quantum Impact Assessments are important practical tools to facilitate responsible quantum technology adoption. Often in the form of codes of conduct, best practices, roadmaps, and physics de-risking tools, QIA instruments can be used by governments, industry, and academia to explore and analyse how current technological developments affect the world we live in.

Exploratory Quantum Technology Assessment

Implementing interdisciplinary, expert-based QIA’s can help raising awareness about the ethical, legal, socio-economic & policy (ELSPI) dimensions of quantum technology including quantum-classical hybrids. For example, QIA’s can cultivate a deeper understanding about the potential dual use character of quantum technology. Here, we present a prototype of such QIA instrument: the Exploratory Quantum Technology Assessment (EQTA), made possible by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, QDNL, and ECP.

Guidance for responsible implementation of quantum technology

The EQTA contains a comprehensive step-by-step plan, encouraging stakeholders to start a dialogue to clarify which ethical, legal, and social aspects are important in the creation and application of QT systems and quantum-classical interactions. Looking forward, establishing a risk-based legal-ethical framework in combination with standardization, certification, technology impact assessment, and life cycle auditing of quantum driven systems such as computers, sensors, simulators, materials, and networks, is crucial to stewarding society towards responsible quantum innovation.

Created by diverse, multidisciplinary groups

It was inspiring to work on one of the world’s first assessment tools for quantum technology in a multidisciplinary setting. Thanks to ECP Platform voor de InformatieSamenleving and Quantum Delta NL’s Centre for Quantum and Society for bringing together a diverse group of experts with backgrounds in quantum physics, computer & data science, cybersecurity, telecommunications, infrastructure, law, philosophy, economics, and innovation management to create this forward looking tool. As quantum technology inevitably matures, ideally QIA’s evolve in parallel towards fully fletched quantum domain-specific technology assessment instruments.

Download the English version of the EQTA here: https://futurium.ec.europa.eu/en/european-ai-alliance/best-practices/quantum-technology-impact-assessment