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Quantum Computing Plus AI: A Match Made In Heaven?
AI is already a transformative technology. The rise of quantum computing will enable a new generation of super-powerful AI apps.
With all the attention on AI, quantum computing has fallen out of the headlines. However, rapid advances are still being made, and the first general purpose quantum computers are expected to be released by the end of the decade. When that happens, there will be new opportunities for AI, as unimaginable computing power becomes available.
The Rise Of Quantum Computing
Quantum computing combines quantum physics with computer science. The concept of qubits leverages the ideas of superposition and entanglement to represent multiple states simultaneously. Unlike classical computing, which uses bits to represent only 0 or 1, qubits open the door to massive parallelism. This capability holds tremendous potential for revolutionizing industries and solving complex problems more efficiently.
Recent advances in AI have prompted excitement among industry leaders. Even with a classical computing model, AI promises to be a profoundly transformative technology. The rise of quantum computing could lead to AI apps of incredible power.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Laure Le Bars, President of The European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC), gave some insights into how quantum computing might impact AI and other industries.
Understanding The Power Of Quantum Computing
Le Bars highlights how quantum computers are ideally suited to certain tasks, in which classical computers have limitations.
“Optimization problems like route planning, supplier management, and financial portfolio management are places where quantum’s unique ability to quickly find the optimal solution by analyzing huge amounts of heterogeneous data would work well,” she explained. “Classical computers get overwhelmed by exponential calculations when it comes to these enormous amounts of data… AI and machine learning algorithms are perfect candidates for quantum processing.”
Quantum computers offer a different way of processing information and a different programming model; they are not simply faster in all respects that their classical counterparts. “They deliver far greater efficiencies than classical computing for some optimization algorithms. For instance, being able to simulate climate change models with granularity all at once across millions of industry variables that impact CO2 emissions would result in more informed predictions to better guide sustainable strategies long term.”
The Next Decade
While quantum computing shows immense promise, advancements in hardware, middleware, and software are still required for the technology to come of age. Le Bars envisions a general-purpose quantum advantage machine taking shape by 2030.
At this point, AI will be in a position to benefit enormously from quantum technology. Quantum computing's ability to perform many operations in a single step can be harnessed to drive a new generation of quantum-powered AI applications. For example, quantum simulations can enable predictions from millions of variables (past, present, and future) simultaneously. The healthcare sector is one area that could leverage such quantum simulation to develop molecular behavior models, accelerating research on drugs, chemicals, and materials.
While quantum computers offer unprecedented efficiencies for certain optimization algorithms, though, they won't replace classical computers entirely. Hybrid architectures, with quantum processing units working alongside central and graphics processing units, will be essential for seamless integration.
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