CIRI hosts a successful international workshop on AI and Quantum Information

The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, a DHS Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois, led the International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Information Applications in Homeland Security on Dec. 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C.

Artificial intelligence, especially machine-learning and deep learning, has the potential to uncover new solutions to complex problems much faster than humans can. Quantum computing can develop solutions to problems that were previously considered too computationally complex to have solutions. The importance of critical infrastructures to the Homeland Security Enterprise cannot be overestimated, which makes a means of exploring how security and resiliency might be enhanced through AI and quantum computing of significant value. 

Through presentations, panels, and open forums, this workshop enabled discussion between American and Canadian government officials, industry, and academia on how AI and QC could affect the future of infrastructure security and public safety and how those affects may change the operational posture of homeland security and defense agencies in the short-, mid-, and long-term time horizons.  Gaps and opportunities were identified in this initial workshop to serve as a starting point for the Dept. of Homeland Security and Defence Research and Development Canada to explore potential complementary, working level strategies between agencies.

One of the goals of the workshop was to investigate new avenues of inquiry and make connections between disciplines. To accomplish this goal, the workshop featured experts from a wide range of disciplines. A few highlights of the agenda included:

  • Department of Homeland Security Enterprise Variables Analysis Project: Moving from Subjective and Reactionary to Objective and Proactive Decision-making (Dr. Susan Coller Monarez, U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
  • Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Perspectives on AI and QC (Dr. Patrick Carrick, U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
  • Keynote: Artificial Intelligence—The Next Digital Frontier? (Dr. Jacques Bughin, McKinsey Global Institute)
  • Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC): Strategic Vision and Initiatives (Dr. Peter Mason, Defence Research and Development Canada)
  • Security in the Quantum Era (Dr. Michele Mosca, University of Waterloo)

Nearly 70 attendees representing academic, public, and private sector agencies gathered for the two-day event.