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Quantum Computing is no longer science fiction; business advantage can be unlocked today

Every few decades new technologies are invented that completely transform society in ways that were previously unimaginable. Undoubtedly, Quantum Computing is a technology innovation in this category.

We have launched the Quantum Lab at Sia Partners to invent solutions that are powered by Quantum Technologies that solve some of the biggest challenges faced by industries and society. 

Our expertise in this space has been developed through several years of launching ventures, powered by early-stage Quantum Technologies in sectors such as Financial Services, Healthcare, Lifesciences, Energy and Manufacturing. 

In this article, we cover: 

  • Ways in which corporates can create business value today, using early-stage Quantum Technologies 
  • The types of problems that can be addressed
  • How Quantum Computing can change the world in the coming years 

In future articles, we will dive deeply into specific application areas of near-term Quantum Computing such as collateral optimization, enhanced risk modelling, derivatives pricing, personalized & precision healthcare, healthcare system logistics optimization and clinical trials optimization. 

We will also be interviewing some industry leaders in these areas, so stay tuned! 

Quantum Computing technologies that can enable business advantage today

Qubits are the fundamental units of Quantum Computers and manipulating Qubits is extremely hard. If you cup your hands together, you will accommodate space for approximately a trillion trillion atoms. Qubits are at a sub-atomic level and are dependent on the manipulation and measurement of the spins of photons or electrons. This needs to occur at cryogenic freezing temperatures (- 260 degrees Celsius) for these particles to be stable enough and in an ultra-high vacuum environment to prevent interference. Even then, error correction and error handling remain the biggest barriers to the scaling of Quantum processors. 

Given the above, most people in the industry believe we are at least 3 to 4 years away from being able to solve problems of a scale needed to have benefit in the real world, using true Quantum Computing. 

However, there is a class of early-stage Quantum Computing hardware approaches that can enable business advantage to be unlocked today. These include: 

  • Quantum Inspired: These techniques develop ultra-high density silicon circuits that simulate the effects Quantum Computing principles (e.g., entanglement & superposition) for very specific problem types (a sub-set of combinatorial optimization problems) 
     
  • Quantum Simulation: These techniques apply state of the art high performance computing technologies to simulate the performance of Qubits. These simulators are designed to be fault tolerant and can enable quantum circuits of up to 50+ Qubits. 
     
  • Quantum Hybrid: These techniques use a combination of high-performance computing, Quantum Simulation & near-term Quantum Computers (NISQ machines) and execute sub-components on the most appropriate devices for the optimal speed-ups. 

Using the techniques above, business advantage is possible today, for specific problems across industries. At Sia Partners, we have applied these techniques with highly successful results. 

Additionally, the Quantum Software & Algorithms developed and executed on the Quantum Platforms above, can also on true Quantum Computing Hardware when available (with a little adaptation), and can thus harness the increasing power of Quantum Hardware as it matures. 

Quantum technologies that unlock substantial value are available today while the development to true quantum is rapidly accelerating.

The landscape shown above is only indicative of the key players and not exhaustive.

Types of problems that can be addressed by Quantum Computing

Quantum Computers are not just ‘exponentially faster computers’ but they represent a completely new paradigm of computing technologies that can address specific problem types, that include:

  • Optimization: These problems are about finding the optimal variable combination, given a set of constraints and optimization criteria, from a virtually infinite number of possibilities. Quantum Computing can solve optimization problems exponentially faster and hence can solve much bigger optimization problems. 
     
  • Simulation: Quantum Simulation can infer the behaviour of highly complex systems by modelling and assessing the behaviour of a larger range of characteristics than previously possible. This can enable us to have a deeper understanding of highly intricate systems with enormous amounts of interdependencies. (e.g., simulating the behaviour of a large number of atoms and their interactions with each other). 
     
  • Machine Learning: Quantum Computing has the capability to make the prediction models used in the machine learning techniques significantly more precise and the capability to enable training of machine learning models with significantly less data (one of the biggest challenges in Machine Learning today); All of this means that Quantum will able to super-charge application of Machine Learning algorithms.
     
  • Cryptography: Quantum cryptography offers the potential to encrypt information at the physical network layer – while the processing capability threatens to make standard encryption methods of today irrelevant. 

The types of problems that Quantum Technologies can address can be classified in 5 buckets

From the above, applications in optimization are the most mature and that real world optimization problems can be solved before the other problem types. 

That’s great, by why should we care?

How Quantum Computing can change the world in the coming years

When thinking about how Quantum Computing can impact various industries, it is worthwhile reflecting on the types of problems that can be resolved with this technology, essentially this technology can: 

  1. Solve some of the most computationally intensive problems of today thousands of times faster than classical computers 
  2. Solve problems that we know of today, but we cannot solve optimally because we simply don’t have the computational capabilities to do so with classical computing 
  3. Solve a whole new class of problems that we haven’t even imagined the use for today

Understanding how Quantum Computing will change the world is like trying to assess the impact of the internet back in the early 1990s. Enormous numbers of possibilities come to mind and many potential applications haven’t even been imagined yet. 

Optimization, simulation, machine learning and cryptography challenges exist in virtually every industry. In the coming weeks we will detail some of the key applications in Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Energy, Manufacturing, Automotive & Logistics. Not only will be identify the use cases, but we will go deeper into elaborating how business advantage can be attained today using Quantum Inspired, Quantum Hybrid & Quantum Simulation techniques, while explaining how we have done this at Sia Partners. 

Our Quantum Lab at Sia Partners can deliver business advantage today, using early-stage Quantum Computing technologies, while helping you achieve strategic advantage in the long term race for exponential value through Fault Tolerant Quantum Computing. 

 

Do get in touch and let’s invent the Quantum Future together!