Although there are many proposed benefits anticipated from quantum computing, there are also potential risks. Among these are the following:
- While advancements in security will be welcome within the IT community, there is a possibility of an uneven distribution of adoption of the new technology. If some firms adopt quantum computing and others do not, those without these systems will be vulnerable to the security threats.
- Conceptually, it is believed that with quantum technology we will be able to build microscopic machines such as a nanoassembler, a virtually universal constructor that will not just take materials apart and rebuild them atom by atom but also replicate itself. The good news of this self-replication machines means that these nanomachines will cost nothing to build and eventually make any products we might desire at zero cost. The bad news is that these HAL-like computing brains with capabilities exceeding those of humans, could redesign and replicate themselves at no cost, other than the loss of human dominance.
- Quantum computing will instigate rapid changes in computing and corresponding modifications to human life, at a time known as the point of Singularity. When that day arrives, some futurists fear that quantum computing will cause things to change so fast that it will be impossible to predict what will happen next. Or, there will be “a developmental discontinuity, an ultimate event horizon beyond which predictability breaks down totally.” It sounds as terrifying as those scenarios in a science fiction film; theoretically, nevertheless, it is the risk that quantum computing might eventually lead us to.