Quantum computers are all the hype as they promise to revolutionize our way of living and usher in the “quantum” age. But how will this specialized computational power benefit businesses and people worldwide?
Quantum computing research is pursuing access to quantum optimization, better cybersecurity, faster data analysis, pattern recognition, and quantum AI systems for businesses. These features will help businesses overcome large amounts of data and complex technical issues that have been time-consuming or unsolvable so far.
This article goes over some vital ways quantum computing will benefit businesses. You’ll get a brief overview of how businesses and companies of the future will use quantum computers to offer better products and services and increase their overall efficiency.
The State of Quantum Computing
The potential for Quantum Computing is breathtaking. As we discuss in our article “Is It Possible To Buy a Quantum Computer?” Quantum computing is still in its infancy in many ways, but current quantum devices can already solve problems in many areas, such as transportation, health care, and manufacturing.
Now, while quantum computers won’t make miracles possible with the push of a button, they can help solve specific kinds of problems that are not possible using regular computers.
Companies like D-Wave, IBM, Microsoft Azure Quantum, Google, QCI, and Xanadu work diligently on hardware and software for these quantum systems.
Most businesses today are not buying their own quantum computers but buying time on existing ones and creating and utilizing quantum programs using access on, for instance, IBM’s Qiskit Runtime Emulator Platform.
This quantum computer access gives companies like airlines and financial institutions utilizing a system like this the ability to access, build, and make use of applications with Qiskit quantum systems available on IBM’s Cloud without the necessity to buy their own Quantum computers or maintain them.
8 Benefits Quantum Computers Could Bring to Businesses
Here are eight benefits quantum computers may ultimately bring to businesses currently or in the future:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Quantum AI
- Quantum Cryptography and Cybersecurity
- Quick data analysis
- Aid in new drug development
- More efficient manufacturing processes
- Quantum optimization
- Traffic optimization
Let’s go over each of these points in more detail.
Quantum computers will help build faster and better artificial intelligence, which will help all businesses that leverage the power of AI. Machine learning is being considered on near-term quantum devices. Quantum Machine Learning combined with Quantum Circuits can act like artificial neural networks.
Currently, neural networks are used in classical computers with AI, which “learns” and “teaches” a computer to process through training data, similar in ways to how a human brain works. This ability, in turn, helps further develop artificial intelligence in computer science.
That said, classical computers can have limited computational power depending on the application, so it sometimes takes a long time to process with these neural networks. As a result, AI designed using classical computers can also be limited and does not live up to its true potential.
Quantum computers are expected to be exponentially more powerful than classical computers. Recently in an article by Physics, a quantum-aided machine-learning algorithm that includes a quantum circuit creates the equivalent of handwritten numbers and performs better than its classical computer counterpart.
They will eventually use this potential processing power to simulate large neural networks quickly, resulting in faster and more efficient AI. You could even use quantum computers to process real-time data, which opens up new ways AI would engage, interact, and learn from the real world.
Such a powerful and efficient AI will help businesses create better virtual assistants, provide better product/service recommendations, more accurately gauge a customer’s emotional state, help with sales forecasting, design driverless cars, and much more.
The gaming industry would also heavily benefit from advancements in AI, which will help them create more complex and diverse terrains and populate the game world with realistic, non-playable characters that can carry a coherent and natural conversation.
Some researchers also hypothesize that quantum computers will make AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) a real-world possibility.
Quantum Cryptography and Cybersecurity
The advent of quantum computers will make encryption protocols of the past obsolete, as they’ll be able to break even the toughest of encryptions within a matter of minutes.
Fortunately, quantum computers will also bring new encryption algorithms, currently referred to as post-quantum cryptography, that should offer an almost unbreakable and hack-proof protection layer.
Furthermore, leveraging quantum phenomena like entanglement, physicists are currently working on developing a quantum internet. It will use QKD (Quantum Key Distribution), which makes spoofing practically impossible. Communication over the quantum internet will be ultra-secure and virtually unhackable.
Quick Data Analysis
Did you know that classical computers can’t “multitask”?
Classical computers can only perform one task at a time. However, it can do that one task really fast and then jump back and forth between multiple tasks, although doing each one at a time, thereby creating the illusion of multitasking.
This technique is good enough for regular day-to-day computational use, e.g., web browsing, streaming audio, playing games, etc. However, for businesses that deal with big data and need to run thousands or millions of calculations and mathematical models, addressing each task one at a time can and will slow things down.
This is where quantum computers come into the picture.
Quantum computers are proposed to perform real multitasking by computing multiple tasks parallelly and simultaneously. They can quickly crunch big data sets and execute complex mathematical models in seconds. The most powerful classical computer can take close to days or even months to accomplish the same task.
As a result, quantum computing will be a considerable asset to big corporations and industries like financial services, banking, security agencies, and the many other commercial enterprises that need to analyze big data to obtain business critical predictions and forecastings.
Aid in New Drug Development
One of the most crucial areas where quantum computers show the most significant promise and huge societal impact is the development of new drugs – some that could potentially cure presently incurable diseases.
Using classical computers and other scientific techniques, pharmaceutical companies take close to 12 years on average trying to develop a new drug. Apart from the time, you also need to consider the financial investments that go into R&D, trials and testing, etc., potentially costing billions of dollars.
Now, since quantum computers harness the power of quantum physics, they can accurately simulate new molecules and then test their interaction with other molecules, in this case, the virus/bacteria.
Quantum-aided drug development is preliminary and theoretical but highly plausible as some projects are underway. Recently Accenture Labs working with 1QBit and Biogen achieved a drug development-related breakthrough that verified a quantum-enabled method for molecular comparison was as good or better than existing methods.
One day, this new revolutionary technology will help make some diseases and illnesses obsolete. The world will be able to create new drugs to fight off many prevalent diseases and new ones that might pop up in the future.
More Efficient Manufacturing Processes
Quantum computers will make managing and maintaining large-scale manufacturing processes super simple.
Manufacturing goods and products are becoming increasingly complex with tons of supply chain integrations and managing the availability and prices of various components, warehousing necessities for the components, and so on.
While large manufacturers and corporations are using classical computers to manage these tasks, the whole process can be much more streamlined using quantum computers.
For instance, with quantum computers, you’ll be able to use Grover’s algorithm, making it super convenient to search large unindexed databases.
In addition, IonQ and Hyundai Motor Company recently partnered to develop new variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) algorithms to study lithium compounds in battery chemistry.
These VQE Quantum algorithms will be used to improve the lithium battery safety, charge and discharge cycles, durability, and capacity.
Likewise, a quantum system’s massive computational power will analyze a product’s supply and demand and help you determine an optimized way of ordering components and starting manufacturing.
Save-On-Foods uses Quantum Computing with D-Wave to help them with logistics problems that classical computers were incapable of solving. Within two months of partnering, D-Wave created a hybrid quantum algorithm reducing the computing time for some Save-On-Foods operational tasks from 25 hours per week down to mere seconds.
Currently, quantum optimization methods are not guaranteed to find the best solution to optimization problems, and they don’t always work better than other classical computing optimization techniques.
Businesses often encounter situations when they need to figure out the best possible course of action, i.e., finding the optimal solution from an ocean of potential solutions.
To take on this particular need, classical supercomputers are used to crunch the numbers using specialized algorithms. Unfortunately, the algorithms take a long time to provide a result. Many of these algorithms can resort to shortcuts, decreasing the turnout time and coming to sub-optimal solutions in many scenarios.
However, quantum computers could potentially utilize the optimized solutions to many of these problems in a matter of seconds. That’s something even the most powerful supercomputer of this time will take years to accomplish.
The hope is to come up with evidence in the future that Quantum Optimization has a definite advantage over classical computer optimization.
Quantum Traffic Optimization
Volkswagen was the first automaker to use quantum computing for route and traffic management. Volkswagon has been working with quantum computing since 2016. In 2017 Volkswagen bought two D-Wave quantum computers for $15 million each and has been working on suitable quantum solutions for their industry ever since.
Quantum computers can make traffic jams a thing of the past! Traffic jams are partly a result of road accidents or unruly drivers. But at the same time, the overall traffic system also plays a huge role.
Suppose a traffic system was able to process the data regarding the number of drivers on the road, the amount of traffic a particular road expects at a given time, and other road conditions. In that case, it could theoretically control the traffic signals to optimize traffic routing and minimize the time you spend waiting in a jam.
Of course, in most countries or states, the government will be in charge of deploying such a system. But once fully executed, it will greatly benefit businesses, especially those dealing with logistics.
The same principles will also seamlessly translate to aeronautical scenarios. This improvement will allow airline agencies to route their aircraft better, minimizing the number of delayed flights and optimizing their overall revenue.
Businesses will primarily benefit from the sheer computational power that quantum computers bring to the table. Companies can use this power to solve complex optimization problems and analyze large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.
These features will help unlock better cryptography and cybersecurity options, a faster and more efficient AI, and better forecasting and prediction capabilities.
As far as specifics are concerned, quantum computers will help pharma industries develop new drugs, automobile manufacturers in the development of self-driving cars, airlines to better manage air traffic, and much more.
- What is the Computational Value of Finite Range Tunneling?
- Quantum Computing in Manufacturing & Logistics | D-Wave
- Mantra AI: Business Applications of Quantum Computing
- Technology Review: Quantum computing has a hype problem
- Qmunity: Problems that only Quantum Computers can solve
- WGBH: Computers Gave Us The Word Multitasking, But Can We Do It?
- What is the quantum internet?
- AWS: What is a Neural Network? AI and ML Guide
- IBM simulates chemical reactions on a quantum computer | VentureBeat
- Qiskit: Grover’s Algorithm
- Aviation Today: Quantum Computing for Aerospace, What are the Possibilities?
- Medicine Net: Drug Approvals
- 4 Reasons Why Deep Learning and Neural Networks Aren’t Always the Right Choice
- Quantum Computing Pharma R&D | Biogen Case Study | Accenture