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Supercomputers: ‘will I just remain an antique piece on the shelf soon?’

The anonymous Covid- 19 spurred the business ecosystem to experiment with unexpected strategies as a fulcrum of their contingency crisis actions. Dealing with this mayhem numerous business leaders discovered a truth. They were successful in walking the trajectory towards exceptional growth which they had expected to achieve in the next 3-5 years. Fast Forward in action! The same revelation was true with regards to innovations, as tireless scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses gave in their whole to counter Covid-19. Thus, underpinning technologies or studies that would have taken a few years or so to uncover. Likewise, technology can bring to life the unimaginable and unexpected faster with its magical wand. Presently technology is swinging its wand in the arena of: Quantum computing. Quantum computers can outcompete today’s supercomputers by achieving results at thunderbolt speed, that would have been possible only in the next 50 years. So, will quantum computing be the new super hero or villain. Let’s explore quantum computing and its benefits and consequences for businesses.

But firstly, what is quantum computing? (Keep it simple silly)

Quantum computing stems from the study of quantum mechanics. Quantum computers are exceptionally proficient than the existing supercomputers, possessing the capacity to accelerate calculations or data churning at an unprecedented rate. So, what makes this possible? Computers inherently use binary bits i.e. 1 or 0, whilst quantum computers utilize quantum bits or qubits i.e. 1 or 0 or both can co-exist known as the superposition state. Moreover, entanglement is a state in which additional qubits are induced in the quantum computers, amplifying its potential to churn data.Hence they procure the ability to analyze, create and consider vast simulations and probabilities, arriving at an impeccable solution or recommendation. Quantum computers boast the impetus to speed up complex calculations exorbitantly compared to its old counterpart friends. Quantum supremacy is essentially a pinnacle point that can be accomplished when a quantum computer can perform mathematical calculations that are impossible for supercomputers to unpuzzle.

Challenges exist, but that ain’t shy the experts!

However not everything is very merry in the quantum computing world. Qubits demand high maintenance (supercooled fridges and vacuum chambers) as their contact with any stimuli in the environment will deliver inaccurate results. This state is referred to as decoherence. Quantum computing is a phenomenon that certainly has a long path its way. There is immense scope for development in infrastructure for storing qubits as this concept scales up. The supply of qubits remains scarce, scientists/ researchers are oblivious to the number of qubits required to reach the standards of supremacy. There is a dearth of scientists, researchers, professors and experts with the optimum acumen. So, profound mysteries are yet to be unraveled in the world of quantum computing. An array of possibilities awaits.

Albeit, fascinating developments in this field cannot be neglected. For instance in 2019 Google established quantum supremacy by deploying a 53 qubit quantum chip to resolve a mathematical calculation. One of the milestones achieved in the quantum computing world. On the other hand, IBM expects to create a 1000 qubit machine by 2023. While PsiQuantum supported by Microsoft aims to create a 1M qubit quantum computer in the next few years. Major tech giants like Google, IBM, Honeywell, Microsoft, Intel and so forth are working day in and day out to enhance the capabilities of their quantum computers.

Some companies choose to purchase quantum computers for their respective businesses, while others can access them on cloud computing services. Quantum computer’s availability on cloud sounds incredible but is true as Microsoft and Amazon in collab with IonQ and Rigetti intend to become service providers via their respective cloud platform.Proponents argue that Moore’s Law may be in force with regards to quantum computing, as the computational power is bound to surge exponentially. This will come into effect by the addition of extra qubits into machines and employment of quantum algorithms. Quantum algos are developed to slice and dice through colossal amounts of data and numbers.

Quantum’s berserk: its core essence!

Quantum computing’s mystical vigor radiates it’s influence on any industry from pharma to financial services, agriculture to national security. Quantum computing’s penetration in the pharma industry will expedite novel drug discovery for fatal and chronic diseases. Furthermore, it can catapult genomic sequencing to another level leading to quicker scrutinization and targeted and personalized treatment. Artificial intelligence will move up notches due to the rampant computational power, excelling in pattern recognition, voice recognition, facial recognition, machine translation and multiple unexplored areas. Astonishing as it may sound, AI systems will be able to emulate the human brain and act human like in real time, taking well thought decisions and be flexible to change.

Quantum computers are awed for their ability for optimization, this will lead to a significant transformation for the logistics industry. Stellar companies like DHL are deploying quantum computers for improved efficiency in their supply chains and enhanced post purchase customer experience. Businesses can omit failures and defects in products during manufacturing due to the blessed powers of quantum computing saving costs and reducing waste. In the agriculture sector quantum computers will reign in creating efficient fertilizers due to the complex and intricate permutations and combinations required to complete the process. Discovery of novel materials in the arena of material science will prosper. Volkswagen and Daimler intend to utilize quantum computers to increase the efficacy of batteries of electric cars. The facets of testing will become quick and proficient, concurrently the performance of systems during various contingencies can be corroborated, for instance flight testing and management.

Quantum computing is poised to impact financial services in a phenomenal manner, as immense computational power has always been its oil to conduct simulations and forecasting that will accelerate. Thus quantum computers will essentially foster processes in terms of markets simulations, risk management, portfolio optimization, fraud detection and any exercise that involves intense complexity. Institutions such as Goldman Sacs, Citigroup and more have employed quantum computers to ameliorate financial services. National security can be maintained and enriched by the quantum computing. For instance it can be used to design and create military vehicles or create battlefield simulations.

Strange Jeopardy!

Quantum computing will be a paramount necessity, opening up avenues for a spectrum of industries. Unfortunately, it will sabotage cyber security due to its innate supersonic power to crack encryption. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are captivating individuals across the world, albeit they will encounter threat from quantum computers due to decryption. Quantum computers can snuggle in during transactions leading to a ruckus in the system. Blockchain’s use is not only restricted to cryptocurrency, it is judiciously employed in supply chains, asset trading and more due to its ability to act as a secure ledger. However, when a problem erupts, the solution too will. Companies are persistently engaged in creating technology that can act as a barrier to quantum computers ability to decrypt. Quantum resistant blockchains is a topic of discussion and under scrutiny in giant financial organizations. Firms such as Isara and Post Quantum are engrossed in introducing post quantum cryptography wherein extremely complex problems are created that even the mighty quantum computers will fail to solve.

Uncertainty? FOMO!!!

Quantum computing will soon shape itself as an unrelenting reality. Each and every stakeholder will need to embrace it will open hands or they may sink precariously in the coming decades. All the major tech giants, financial giants, pharma giants, manufacturing giants and many more are espousing this change for the betterment of all the stakeholders. Quantum will undoubtedly outpower the existing supercomputer, in turn upgrading the standard of living of human beings, just how once supercomputers revolutionized our lives 360 degree. Cons of every technology will exist and bottle necks will be inevitable be it quantum computing or supercomputers they can be susceptible to malicious use. As long as individuals are aware of the problems, solutions will pour from everywhere to attain cybersecurity. Quantum is the way ahead propelling- flying cars, space excursions, increased life expectancy, virtually living, emotionally intelligent robots and the rest relies on your boundless imaginations.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article are views of the author in general and the author does not hold any legal responsibility or liability for the same.)


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