Quantum Ethics: There’s No Time Like the Present to Plan for the Human Future with Quantum Technology

We look at six emerging ethical concerns for the potential power of quantum computing. While the technological breakthrough that enables its widespread use and applications might be years away – or just around the corner – we set out an historical perspective to frame the discussion on ethics that is best begun sooner rather than later.

From Nature to Robots and Vice-Versa? Blurring the Lines Between the Real and the Virtual

The increasing integration of nature’s mechanisms with robotics is enabling precision control of industrial robots, while raising concerns about biosecurity and ethical implications. With bio-inspired sensing systems, brain-computer interfaces enhancing human capabilities, and biomimicry inspiring new applications, the boundaries between artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences are blurring and raising questions about human outcomes.

Shedding New Light on Matter: Synchrotron Radiation and Neutron Beams Probe the Tiniest Pieces of Nature

New synchrotron radiation and neutron beam technologies in Brazil’s Sirius and the European Spallation Source in Sweden promise unprecedented insights into the fundamental properties of materials. Illuminating hidden parts of nature could lead to groundbreaking discoveries and revolutionize research in many scientific fields.

New Insights Reveal Unexpected Patterns in Evolution of Humans and Other Species

Warning off predators, hiding from them, or launching effective attacks? Scientific observations reveal new pieces of the complex web of survival strategies in nature, challenging conventional paradigms and casting a new light on the history and role of humans in the natural world.

Editorial Perspectives

OpenAI's mission statement

In Praise of Human Intelligence For All Time

The race by OpenAI, its partner Microsoft, and others to create and commercialize artificial general intelligence – AGI – begs the question what intelligence is to begin with. Is the intelligence code something that software engineers can crack, or would now be the time for some applied philosophy? The first step to understanding the intelligence in our heads is to stop applying the word to machines; after all, the term "AI" was coined in 1956 as a marketing ploy.

Bloomberg OpenAI headline

What Comes Next, After Profit-Driven OpenAI Cracks the Intelligence Code?

With the release of GPT-4o, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced that the company is ceding applications development for its powerful technology to third parties which he expects will "create all sorts of amazing things that we all benefit from." The first part of OpenAI's mission statement is to create AGI "generally smarter than humans," and we ask how the company intends to fulfill the other part of its mission, that AGI "benefits all of humanity," when third parties control applications.

Celebrating Human Creativity Means Guarding Against Stereotyping by AI

The term "model collapse" has been used to describe the loss of creativity in machine learning trained on its own outputs. Several new studies provide potent examples of the risks of model collapse, and highlight the importance of ensuring the traceability and human-sourcing of data to prevent stereotyping by generative AI.

In Focus

Ancient Roman Concrete: A Technology Ahead of Its Time

The Colosseum and Pantheon stand witness to the knowledge and skill behind ancient Roman concrete-making technology. We look at the history of concrete from then to now, and take you into the Pantheon to explore the marvels that ancient Romans accomplished with concrete.

Indigenous Knowledge Integrates Science and Nature for Greater Sustainability

Indigenous perspectives on science and technology reveal a shift to a holistic understanding of our connection with nature, integrating traditional ecological knowledge with modern practices. This approach challenges the idea that humans are superior to nature, advocating for collaboration and empowering community-led research for sustainable solutions to pressing environmental challenges.

Getting Hold of the Atom: New Findings Illuminate What Keeps Matter, and Us, Together

Research on the dynamics within atomic nuclei reveals surprising discrepancies, inviting a reassessment of fundamental principles in nuclear physics. Experiments that excite helium-4 nuclei demonstrate unexpected behavior and hint at unknown features of the strong nuclear force, while breakthroughs in isotope creation and hidden phase transitions shed new light on the properties of matter.

Podcasts and Webcasts

Jessica West on Space Governance: The Challenges and Potential for Humanity Beyond Earth

Louis Rosenberg on Collective Superintelligence and the Virtual Future

Saima Fancy: Why Privacy Matters on the Road to AGI

The Quantum Record is a non-profit journal of philosophy, science, technology, and time.

The potential of the future is in the human mind and heart, and in the common ground that we all share on the road to tomorrow. Promoting reflection, discussion, and imagination, The Quantum Record highlights the good work of good people and aims to join many perspectives in shaping the best possible time to come.

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Latest Quantum Computing

The Observer Effect: Why Do Our Measurements Change Quantum Outcomes?

The observer effect, which produces a different scattering pattern when a beam of light is observed compared to the unobserved beam, remains a deep mystery at the quantum level. How does the quantum somehow connect to our conscious measurements, and does it imprint our measurements in the curvature of spacetime as as Sir Roger Penrose has proposed? What’s going on in our heads may say something about quantum reality.

Quantum brain imagined

Science Probes the Frontiers of Quantum and Mathematical Consciousness

Scientists are exploring the intriguing connections of consciousness to quantum mechanics and mathematics. Does consciousness exist at the level of the quantum, and if it does how does it operate – and can we be consciousness of consciousness itself?

The Geometry of Information: Is Topological Quantum Computing the Future?

Topological quantum computing could set the path to resolving error correction challenges in today’s quantum computers. The technology uses braiding and other mathematical concepts to map quantum signals in two, three, and four dimensions, and holds promise in combination with photonic qubits.

Featured Science News

Does the Universe Have a Holographic Memory?

The discovery of a low-frequency vibrational “hum” in the fabric of spacetime has added to the mystery of gravitational waves first detected in 2015. Does the universe remember gravitational effects over time, and is its memory encoded at the border of black holes?

Latest Philosophy of Technology

Quantum Ethics: There’s No Time Like the Present to Plan for the Human Future with Quantum Technology

We look at six emerging ethical concerns for the potential power of quantum computing. While the technological breakthrough that enables its widespread use and applications might be years away – or just around the corner – we set out an historical perspective to frame the discussion on ethics that is best begun sooner rather than later.

The Ghost in the Machine: Chatbots and Their Problem with Time

A new mathematical proof points to global instability over time in machine learning, which is the basis for training chatbots like ChatGPT. Designed to generalize inputs from prompts and generate the most probable outputs, what does this mean for the future of chatbots trained on data from the past when human users operate in the dynamically changing present?

Finding Truths: Defense and Criticism of the Scientific Method

The scientific method’s emphasis on falsifiability, empirical evidence, incremental progress, and predictive power, makes it humanity’s most powerful tool for unraveling the mysteries of the universe. But can it reveal absolute truths, and knowledge about things like our own consciousness, that aren’t directly observable? We explore some important limitations and criticisms of the scientific method.

Latest Technology Over Time

Ancient Roman Concrete: A Technology Ahead of Its Time

The Colosseum and Pantheon stand witness to the knowledge and skill behind ancient Roman concrete-making technology. We look at the history of concrete from then to now, and take you into the Pantheon to explore the marvels that ancient Romans accomplished with concrete.

The Mystery of the Ancient Roman Dodecahedrons

What was the purpose of these curious dodecahedrons, discovered in the northern parts of the ancient Roman Empire? Why does no record exist to explain their use and manufacture? We review the intriguing possibilities, but more detective work is needed to uncover the truth of this ancient technology.

The Genius of Alan Turing, and the Technology that Cracked the Nazi Enigma Code

Alan Turing’s skills in mathematics and computer science helped build the “Bombe,” the computing machine that cracked the Nazi Enigma code. The technology was instrumental in the Allied victory over Hitler.

Latest Science News

From Nature to Robots and Vice-Versa? Blurring the Lines Between the Real and the Virtual

The increasing integration of nature’s mechanisms with robotics is enabling precision control of industrial robots, while raising concerns about biosecurity and ethical implications. With bio-inspired sensing systems, brain-computer interfaces enhancing human capabilities, and biomimicry inspiring new applications, the boundaries between artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences are blurring and raising questions about human outcomes.

Shedding New Light on Matter: Synchrotron Radiation and Neutron Beams Probe the Tiniest Pieces of Nature

New synchrotron radiation and neutron beam technologies in Brazil’s Sirius and the European Spallation Source in Sweden promise unprecedented insights into the fundamental properties of materials. Illuminating hidden parts of nature could lead to groundbreaking discoveries and revolutionize research in many scientific fields.

New Insights Reveal Unexpected Patterns in Evolution of Humans and Other Species

Warning off predators, hiding from them, or launching effective attacks? Scientific observations reveal new pieces of the complex web of survival strategies in nature, challenging conventional paradigms and casting a new light on the history and role of humans in the natural world.