“Nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature you’d better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly, it’s a wonderful problem because it doesn’t look easy” - charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman, almost 40 years ago.
Google appears to have reached ‘quantum supremacy’ in September - their quantum computer, named Sycamore, seems to have performed a task that would take our best ‘classical’ computer, called Summit, 10,000 years to complete, in about three minutes.
It was on the back of this news that Moses Ma and his team from FutureLab Consulting, based in San Francisco, came to Europe, visiting Paris and Luxembourg.
Their presentation at the Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT) highlighted work by academics Fred Glover and Gary Kochenberger: Quantum Bridge Analytics. The idea is to combine the best of our current computers with what is possible with quantum at the moment.
Why did they choose LHoFT? Or even Luxembourg as a stop-off point? Well, the financial services industry will need to upshift fast and keep abreast of the potentially profound technological changes close to hand. It’s not long before we can be our own best portfolio and asset managers.
Quantum computing’s strengths will lie in helping us find complex solutions rapidly. Those working in the fields of logistics, quantum rendering for films, pharmaceuticals and climate change could all benefit.
China, and America to a lesser degree, have invested billions in quantum computing. Along with 5G and AI, it’s been a red hot field for investors.
As with much of our modern lives, the bulk of us will feed off the decades of research, one day. But no doubt it will come. As in 1943, the boss of IBM, Thomas Watson, thought the world might need five computers. Well, we’ve moved on quite a bit since then.