Nvidia Tries to Bridge the Gap Between Classical and Quantum Computing: On Tuesday, Nvidia announced its Quantum Optimized Device Architecture (QODA), an open computing platform that aims to make hybrid quantum-classical computing more accessible for developers. While quantum computing will offer significant performance gains compared to classical computing in some important applications (including AI), pure quantum computers are not yet far enough along to have a broad practical impact. Nvidia says that embracing a hybrid approach, where quantum computers work together with classical, high-performance computers, is one way to take advantage of quantum computing’s benefits now. The company describes QODA as a “software bridge” that will allow developers to build quantum applications — whether by building completely quantum applications or by adding quantum computing to select, intensive tasks in existing applications — in an open, interoperable environment using either a hybrid quantum-classical system or emulated quantum processors running on Nvidia GPUs. In the same way that CUDA helped popularize GPU-accelerated computing, the company says it hopes QODA will help make quantum acceleration mainstream.
Cutting Off Chinese Chipmaking Supplies — U.S. Officials Lobby the Dutch: U.S. officials have asked the Dutch government to restrict exports to China of an important type of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Bloomberg reported last week. Netherlands-based ASML Holding is the world’s largest manufacturer of photolithographic machines, a critical tool in modern semiconductor manufacturing. A push by U.S. officials during the Trump administration helped convince Dutch authorities to block exports to China of ASML’s crown jewel: its extreme ultraviolet lithography machines. EUV machines — which only ASML can make — are used in manufacturing the current generations of cutting-edge chips, and without them, Chinese chipmakers have to rely on an older type of “deep ultraviolet” lithography machine. But those older DUV machines can still produce chips as advanced as the 7nm node — more than capable of running advanced AI applications. In its final report last year, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recommended export controls on both EUV and DUV machines, but that would require the Dutch and Japanese governments to get on board. Bloomberg noted that a similar lobbying effort is underway with Tokyo, as Japan’s Nikon is another vital supplier of DUV machines. But the push could face an uphill battle — in a recent interview, the Dutch prime minister pushed back on efforts to “close off” his country’s trade relationship with China.
Nuclear Regulator Wants Comments on Its Draft AI Plan: Earlier this month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — the U.S. agency responsible for regulating the use of nuclear energy and radioactive materials — opened up its draft Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan for public comment. The 40-page plan is meant to cover the fiscal years 2023–2027, during which the NRC says it expects industry interest in using AI tools to grow. While researchers have already explored using AI to control plasma in a fusion reactor, the potential applications discussed in the NRC’s report are decidedly more behind-the-scenes. The report lays out five strategic goals meant to guide the NRC as it prepares to understand and regulate AI: to set up a “robust and flexible AI regulatory framework;” to build out an organizational capacity for processing AI applications; to work with industry, government, and academic partners to stay abreast of AI-related plans; to build up an “AI-proficient” workforce inside the NRC; and to explore potential use cases of AI to increase understanding. Comments on the draft plan will be accepted until August 19, and the NRC plans to hold a webinar on August 3 to discuss the plan and receive comments.
In Translation CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Budget:Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2022 Budget. This document is an original translation of the 2022 budget of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which manages China’s diplomatic efforts and its embassies and consulates overseas.
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