Walter Copan Talks NIST’s AI, Quantum Computing Work at House Subcommittee Hearing

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Walter Copan
Walter Copan

Walter Copan, director of the National Institutes of Science and Technology, appeared Wednesday before a House subcommittee to discuss NIST’s work in quantum science and artificial intelligence, Nextgov reported Thursday.

He told members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s research and technology subpanel about NIST’s achievements in the quantum field, including work in quantum simulation and development of a quantum logic clock. He also offered updates on the establishment of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium.

“Looking forward, over the coming years NIST will focus a portion of its quantum research portfolio on the grand challenge of quantum networking,” Copan said in his written testimony. “Serving as the basis for secure and highly efficient quantum information transmission that links together multiple quantum devices and sensors, quantum networks will be a key element in the long-term evolution of quantum technologies.” 

Copan noted that NIST needs to ramp up efforts to advance the development of tools designed to provide insights into AI programs. He added that there is “important work to be done in standardization, so that the United States can lead the world in the application of [AI] in a trustworthy and ethical manner.”

Copan, who is also undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology, responded to lawmakers’ questions about 5G and the condition of NIST facilities.