Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, Undersecretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security, is interviewed by Yuval.
Key points are:
- Role and Mission of DHS: Dimitri outlines the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a law enforcement organization with a focus on protecting the homeland. He discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies and the changing climate.
- Quantum Mechanics and DHS: Dimitri delves into the mystique of quantum mechanics and its potential applications in DHS missions. He highlights the sensitivity of quantum systems in detecting small signals, which can be useful in timing, position, and navigation for various missions.
- Cybersecurity and Quantum: He acknowledges the potential applications of quantum technologies in cybersecurity, communications, and computing. He emphasizes the need for a match between people who understand quantum mechanics and the challenges that DHS faces.
- Export Controls on Quantum Technology: Dimitri discusses the global nature of quantum mechanics expertise and suggests that while foundational understanding is global, specific applications might require more protective measures.
- Engaging with Companies: Dimitri expresses the need for DHS to engage with innovators and companies to develop technology solutions for homeland security. He mentions that DHS is currently in "create mode" to develop the right tech ecosystem.
- Getting DHS Excited About Quantum: Dimitri explains that the focus is not on getting the operational side excited about quantum but on finding real operational use cases that can help them in their missions.
- Global Quantum Investments: He acknowledges that the U.S. was initially behind in quantum investments compared to Europe but feels that the situation has improved. He is excited about the venture capital flowing into quantum technologies.
- Risks and Concerns: Dimitri acknowledges that like any technology, quantum has a dark side that could be exploited for malicious purposes. He emphasizes that it's crucial to prepare for such scenarios.