From the very earliest times in recorded human history, new technologies have been used for both positive and negative reasons.
Scientists such as Robert Oppenheimer, whose work ultimately led to the development of nuclear weapons, have been only too aware of how technology can be harnessed by society in ways that raise ethical challenges.
Our experience with computers is no different. New technologies have made life easier in many ways, yet we can see that when controls are lacking it can lead to unforeseen societal outcomes.
We are now on the threshold of a new computer technology era more powerful than anything that preceded it: the age of quantum computing. However, this time we have a chance to stop and think carefully about the ethical use of a transformative technology today while we can still shape the future.
Nicholas Niggli, deputy...