Does the article’s title sound a little presumptuous to you? I don’t think so, because quantum computers are The Future of Everything.
What’s in it for you?
Entrepreneurs and Analysts are often challenged with their lack of awareness of commercial trends, innovations, marketing strategies and other business information. Since the success of a business relies heavily on being at the forefront of a target market or specific niche, it is very important to stay up-to-date with technology.
Quantum computers are quickly going from science fiction to theory to reality; it has already had breakthroughs in understanding what makes all living cells tick and developing new methods of predicting physics problems so complex that even Einstein would be stumped. In fact, soon, they will have applications that affect day-to-day life. With such a powerful tool, businesses will be able to function in ways that were previously solved with laborious manual processes.
Well, it is natural to ask: wouldn’t the quantum future lead to massive unemployment? Yes and no. The Future of Jobs report identifies that an average primary school student today does not learn skills that are relevant to their future jobs due to the breadth and speed of technological innovations; quantum computing simply speeds up this process. Therefore, current job roles will soon become redundant leading to unemployment. Having said that, new job roles such as quantum-skilled technologists, researchers, developers and scientists will be created. The quantum market is projected to grow by 7.35 billion USD by 2025; clearly, understanding this breakthrough technology early in your career can play a huge role in saving it.
Quantum computing sounds great, but what is it and how does it work?
Can you think about the time it would take a 5-year-old to solve an integration problem? Now, how much time would it take a Mathematician to solve the same problem? Significantly less, right? That’s the simple difference between a classical and a quantum computer.
Quantum computing exploits phenomena (superposition and entanglement) from quantum physics to exponentially speed up calculations for problems that conventional computers cannot solve. Because a quantum computer is probabilistic rather than deterministic, the computer returns thousands of suitable answers in almost one second, meaning that there are also other great alternatives to choose from in addition to the best solution.
Within quantum computing, there are mainly two technologies: quantum gates and quantum annealing. The latter is better as it makes considerably less noise and does not even require the programmer to know Quantum physics.
Why is understanding quantum technology relevant today?
Isaac Asimov, science fiction and popular science writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, rightly said, “Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.”
Let’s consider the following applications and think critically about what this means for the future of all industries and sectors.
· Predictive Healthcare System: With the amount of digital data about patients’ health and the ever-growing number of variables required to understand this data consistently (increased 10 times between 2013 and 2020), quantum computers will play a critical role in data collection and analysis. They will allow us to move from a responsive healthcare system to one that is predictive: doctors will gain insights into a patient’s health problems before they even surface and accordingly suggest lifestyle changes for future wellbeing.
· CogniFrame: This application optimises the time required to solve complex insurance, asset management and pension problems. With more accurate and insightful results, businesses will be equipped to make better decisions while simultaneously reducing the risk involved with these choices.
· Traffic optimisation: Volkswagen piloted the world’s first project for traffic optimisation using D-wave’s quantum computer in Lisbon. This project calculated the fastest route for each of the nine participating buses individually and almost in real-time in 2019. This state-of-the-art traffic management system could transform public transport by improving traffic flow and reducing travel time, air pollution and accidents.
The real-life applications of quantum computing are endless. Tech companies such as IBM, Google and D-Wave have already invested in quantum computers, while 20% of governments and organisations have started budgeting for this breakthrough technology. These are clear signs of the next “Big Thing” in the disruptive world of technology.
If you want to be relevant tomorrow, start exploring this very exciting new field now. Plan for quantum security, identify use cases for quantum computers and think through responsible design. Be Ready for the Quantum Revolution. Be Ready for the Future.