Quantum computing can deliver immense benefits in four areas according to researchers; simulation, optimisation, machine learning, and cryptography.
Using the phenomena of quantum mechanics, quantum computing has the potential to solve a number of society’s most challenging problems.
Digital Nation spoke to Dr Anna Phan, Asia Pacific Quantum Alliance Lead at IBM, and Dr Mohammad Choucair CEO of Archer Materials, to better understand how quantum computing works, and why it is useful to business and society.
“Quantum computing is a fundamentally completely different way to processing information compared to today's classical computers like our laptops and our phones,” says Phan.
“Today's computers manipulate individual bits, which stores information as binary, zero, and one states. In comparison, quantum computers tap into quantum mechanical phenomena to manipulate information. To do this, they rely on quantum bits, or qubits,” she says.
The immense computational power of quantum computing is such that it can be deployed to solve previously intractable problems, says Phan.
According to Choucair, new solutions in the fields of simulation, optimisation, machine learning, and cryptography could potentially lead to hundreds of businesses unlocking value for end-users in the coming decades.
“Quantum computing has the potential to impact almost every sector dependent on computational power.”
Not only is quantum computing set to enable record market share gains and greater profitability for companies adopting these computers, but it is also expected to transform industries.
Phan believes that the problem-solving capabilities that quantum computers possess could redefine competitive advantage and transform how industries operate.
Phan says quantum computing could "open the door to new scientific discoveries, life saving drugs, improvements in supply chains, logistics, modelling of financial data. So they are expected to transform industries and be disruptive because quantum computers have the potential to address exponentially complex problems that classical computers cannot."
While there has been discussion about the technology for decades, its widespread use could still be a while away.
“Quantum computing has made long strides in the last decade, don't get me wrong, but it's still in the early stages of development and broad, you know, application and commercial application is still years away,” says Choucair.
“Quantum computing is currently in the stage known as the NISQT era, which stands for noisy intermediate-scale quantum technology. This stage is really expected to last for the next decade.”