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What Enterprises Can Do To Advance Their Quantum Computing Efforts

7
February
,
2022
Dr. Yehuda Naveh

A growing number of executives and boards of directors realize quantum computing is a potential game-changer. They understand that quantum might trigger tectonic changes in their industries. They are moving forward in their quantum journeys to capture the potential for dramatic increases in business efficiencies and significant new revenue streams.

We identified five common items in the organizational wish list toward quantum computing.

1. Develop internal quantum proficiency rather than outsource. To paraphrase an old saying, businesses want to learn how to fish, not just eat fish for dinner. Companies understand that quantum is strategic and wish to cultivate their own expertise. George Woodman, quantum computing lead at insurance giant AXA, told us during a recent podcast that it’s good “to internalize” quantum computing knowledge instead of leaving it all up to external providers like consultants or technology companies.

2. Short prototyping cycles to quickly work through multiple proof of concepts. Businesses can spend an entire year working on a single use case. But with quick prototyping cycles, they can explore multiple alternatives and learn from each successive iteration.

3. Quantum circuits that scale. Quantum hardware is advancing quickly. IBM recently broke through the 100-qubit barrier, and IBM and other providers announced near-term plans for 1,000 qubits. Organizations want to develop now but avoid significant changes when more powerful quantum computing hardware becomes available.

4. Introduce nonquantum domain experts into their quantum initiatives. It’s nearly impossible to find a quantum information scientist who is also a chemistry, finance or logistics guru. Companies want to create multifaceted teams and include nonquantum experts.

5. First-class support to help them overcome roadblocks. Today’s quantum computing recipes are complex (see, for instance, J.P. Morgan Chase’s algorithm for option pricing with quantum) and implementation challenges are inevitable.

In formulating a quantum approach, a business typically explores a problem — such as option pricing or molecular simulation — that has some classical computing solution, albeit limited. That business then seeks a quantum computing algorithm to address that problem, often starting from published algorithms in scientific journals. The algorithm is broken down into individual blocks, which are then tuned, adjusted and recombined into a full circuit. But scanning all possible circuits to select one that meets both the hardware constraints and the algorithmic requirements is very difficult. As quantum computers get larger and circuits get more complex, performing this task manually becomes close to impossible.

But your organization can create useful quantum circuits and meet the five wish list goals if it takes the following steps.

Don’t Start From Scratch

When creating software on a classical computer, you don’t have to build mouse drivers or windowing systems. Similarly, you don’t want to undertake repetitive time-consuming tasks when working with quantum computers.

Avoid getting stuck in the weeds by amassing your own quantum building block library. Breaking an algorithm into functional blocks can be a complex endeavor. But recent advances now allow you to easily create (or obtain from others) high-level functional models out of which the appropriate blocks will be created automatically. Embracing this functional model approach will expedite your progress.

Use Quantum Resources Efficiently

On a modern PC, you can have multiple applications open and just buy more memory or disk space if those are required. But quantum resources are still scarce, so you’ll want to be efficient with using the quantum bits and gates.

An inefficient quantum program might be able to balance a portfolio of 30 assets. But an efficient one might be able to balance a portfolio of 100 assets on the same type of computer. The difference might be between “we’ll wait a year” to “we’re moving to production now.”

Resource management is important, especially so at these early stages of the quantum computing industry. But limited resources are not necessarily a showstopper. For example, did you know that the onboard computer for the Apollo 11 mission had just 72 kilobytes of computer memory?

Work At A Higher Level

If you want to create a webpage, you don’t want to write assembly language code. You’ll probably opt to use a website creation platform that abstracts a lot of the complexity under the hood.

Apply the same basic concept to your quantum efforts. Understand that you don’t have to work so close to the actual hardware. Instead, leverage a platform that can both estimate the quantum resources required for your task as well as automatically synthesize optimized quantum circuits from high-level functional models.

This approach will also act as a force multiplier, ensuring that nonquantum specialists can make significant contributions to your quantum efforts without having to worry about technical challenges related to qubits, entanglement and superposition. Such a functional approach will also enable your code to scale as quantum hardware advances.

Prepare For The Future

As TechCrunch recently noted, “Quantum computing will have massive industrial implications.”

Quantum is the future, and it’s fast approaching with new quantum hardware. But quantum hardware is only part of what’s needed. To achieve true quantum benefits you also must adopt approaches, organizational structures, and technology to simplify, scale and advance your quantum software development efforts. Quantum software and hardware are truly complementary: One does not work without the other.

As AXA Chief Data Scientist Marcin Detyniecki said in the podcast: “If you think about quantum computing, we know it’s kind of mathematically proven that this is going to disrupt our world, our classical world. ... Our work is to think about the future and prepare for that future.”

This article originally appeared on the Forbes Tech Council


A growing number of executives and boards of directors realize quantum computing is a potential game-changer. They understand that quantum might trigger tectonic changes in their industries. They are moving forward in their quantum journeys to capture the potential for dramatic increases in business efficiencies and significant new revenue streams.

We identified five common items in the organizational wish list toward quantum computing.

1. Develop internal quantum proficiency rather than outsource. To paraphrase an old saying, businesses want to learn how to fish, not just eat fish for dinner. Companies understand that quantum is strategic and wish to cultivate their own expertise. George Woodman, quantum computing lead at insurance giant AXA, told us during a recent podcast that it’s good “to internalize” quantum computing knowledge instead of leaving it all up to external providers like consultants or technology companies.

2. Short prototyping cycles to quickly work through multiple proof of concepts. Businesses can spend an entire year working on a single use case. But with quick prototyping cycles, they can explore multiple alternatives and learn from each successive iteration.

3. Quantum circuits that scale. Quantum hardware is advancing quickly. IBM recently broke through the 100-qubit barrier, and IBM and other providers announced near-term plans for 1,000 qubits. Organizations want to develop now but avoid significant changes when more powerful quantum computing hardware becomes available.

4. Introduce nonquantum domain experts into their quantum initiatives. It’s nearly impossible to find a quantum information scientist who is also a chemistry, finance or logistics guru. Companies want to create multifaceted teams and include nonquantum experts.

5. First-class support to help them overcome roadblocks. Today’s quantum computing recipes are complex (see, for instance, J.P. Morgan Chase’s algorithm for option pricing with quantum) and implementation challenges are inevitable.

In formulating a quantum approach, a business typically explores a problem — such as option pricing or molecular simulation — that has some classical computing solution, albeit limited. That business then seeks a quantum computing algorithm to address that problem, often starting from published algorithms in scientific journals. The algorithm is broken down into individual blocks, which are then tuned, adjusted and recombined into a full circuit. But scanning all possible circuits to select one that meets both the hardware constraints and the algorithmic requirements is very difficult. As quantum computers get larger and circuits get more complex, performing this task manually becomes close to impossible.

But your organization can create useful quantum circuits and meet the five wish list goals if it takes the following steps.

Don’t Start From Scratch

When creating software on a classical computer, you don’t have to build mouse drivers or windowing systems. Similarly, you don’t want to undertake repetitive time-consuming tasks when working with quantum computers.

Avoid getting stuck in the weeds by amassing your own quantum building block library. Breaking an algorithm into functional blocks can be a complex endeavor. But recent advances now allow you to easily create (or obtain from others) high-level functional models out of which the appropriate blocks will be created automatically. Embracing this functional model approach will expedite your progress.

Use Quantum Resources Efficiently

On a modern PC, you can have multiple applications open and just buy more memory or disk space if those are required. But quantum resources are still scarce, so you’ll want to be efficient with using the quantum bits and gates.

An inefficient quantum program might be able to balance a portfolio of 30 assets. But an efficient one might be able to balance a portfolio of 100 assets on the same type of computer. The difference might be between “we’ll wait a year” to “we’re moving to production now.”

Resource management is important, especially so at these early stages of the quantum computing industry. But limited resources are not necessarily a showstopper. For example, did you know that the onboard computer for the Apollo 11 mission had just 72 kilobytes of computer memory?

Work At A Higher Level

If you want to create a webpage, you don’t want to write assembly language code. You’ll probably opt to use a website creation platform that abstracts a lot of the complexity under the hood.

Apply the same basic concept to your quantum efforts. Understand that you don’t have to work so close to the actual hardware. Instead, leverage a platform that can both estimate the quantum resources required for your task as well as automatically synthesize optimized quantum circuits from high-level functional models.

This approach will also act as a force multiplier, ensuring that nonquantum specialists can make significant contributions to your quantum efforts without having to worry about technical challenges related to qubits, entanglement and superposition. Such a functional approach will also enable your code to scale as quantum hardware advances.

Prepare For The Future

As TechCrunch recently noted, “Quantum computing will have massive industrial implications.”

Quantum is the future, and it’s fast approaching with new quantum hardware. But quantum hardware is only part of what’s needed. To achieve true quantum benefits you also must adopt approaches, organizational structures, and technology to simplify, scale and advance your quantum software development efforts. Quantum software and hardware are truly complementary: One does not work without the other.

As AXA Chief Data Scientist Marcin Detyniecki said in the podcast: “If you think about quantum computing, we know it’s kind of mathematically proven that this is going to disrupt our world, our classical world. ... Our work is to think about the future and prepare for that future.”

This article originally appeared on the Forbes Tech Council


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