A drone flying against a blue sky with a half moon

Strange physics: drones, artificial intelligence and quantum computers

The Annual Q Forum
The Q Forum gathers leading experts to share their knowledge, stretch our imaginations and engage in a public debate on strange physics, world politics and the future of humanity.

From the atom bomb to the microprocessor, physics produced many of the great transformations of the 20th century. In the 21st, a convergence of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and quantum computing will yield even more profound changes. 

The Q Forum is the opening event of the fourth Project Q symposium, QC3I: Quantum Computing, Communication, Control and Intelligence. Supported by the University of Sydney and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Project Q gathers thinkers and practitioners to investigate the implications of quantum innovation for peace and security in the 21st century.

This talk is co-presented with the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Thursday 15 February 2018.


  • Professor Michael Biercuk is an experimental physicist and the Primary Investigator in the Quantum Control Laboratory at the University of Sydney. Michael’s specialties include quantum physics, quantum control, quantum error suppression, ion trapping, nanoelectronics, and precision metrology.
  • Professor Hugh Gusterson is Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology at George Washington University. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary study of the conditions under which particular bodies of knowledge are formed and deployed, with special attention to the science of war, the military, and nuclear weapons.
  • Professor Allison Macfarlane is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University and Director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at the University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research has focused on environmental policy and international security issues associated with nuclear energy. She was the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2012 to 2014, with ultimate responsibility for the safety of all U.S. commercial nuclear reactors, for the regulation of medical radiation and nuclear waste in the U.S., and for representing the U.S. in negotiations with international nuclear regulators. 
  • Professor Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. He is Guest Professor at TU Berlin, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW and leads the Algorithmic Decision Theory group at Data61, Australia's Centre of Excellence for ICT Research. He has been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and has won the prestigious Humboldt research award as well as the 2016 NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT.
  • Professor James Der Derian (chair) is Michael Hintze Chair of International Security Studies and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies. His research and teaching interests are in international security, information technology, international theory, and documentary film. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Most recently he was awarded a Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin for 2011.

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