Photonic artificial intelligence to support unconditionally secure communications
The next generation of smart Internet services requires a high level of data protection for sensitive information exchanged (e.g., bank transactions, defense operations). The forthcoming advent of accessible quantum computation will put at risk any classical encryption protocols. Unbreakable data protection, against cyberattacks or unauthorized access, can be guaranteed by quantum encryption protocols, such as the quantum key distribution (QKD) technique. However, it is extremely difficult to embed quantum and classical signals together in the same optical fibers, since the presence of noise and other unwanted interactions between the signals. This project will tackle fundamental and technological challenges that prevent the deployment of QKD in large-scale telecommunications, by developing a new device based on photonic artificial intelligence (AI), which will be applied for the automatic optimization of QKD. The results from this project will provide a novel device, which will be a powerful alternative to electronic-based AI approaches, relying on ultra-high-speed and large bandwidths offered by photonics. The project’s goal is aligned with the long-term commercial objectives of our partner organization, Ki3 Photonics, which also aims at the deployment of unconditionally secure communications with groundbreaking technologies compatible with the current telecom networks.