In this piece we ask, ‘what can quantum computing do for your business?’ Google’s quantum experts explain what the economic opportunities could be.

There is now mounting evidence that a new generation of quantum technologies are ready to transition into commercial products. These technologies are expected to have a profound impact on many of the world’s largest markets. This includes enhancing the £305.6 billion global semiconductor industry and the $2.5 trillion world oil and gas industry.  Other areas include enabling  5G communications for mobile devices. They could also lead to faster and more efficient construction projects, with reduced delays – workers could use quantum sensor technology to identify pipelines and underground obstructions before starting work.

“Over the next decade, academia, industry and national labs should work together to develop quantum simulation and quantum machine-learning algorithms. We plan to support such research by offering access to Google’s quantum processors through cloud services to others that lack the necessary capital, expertise or infrastructure.”

“A new technology can improve business in three ways: by increasing revenue, reducing costs or lowering investments in infrastructure. In the digital era, introducing a new technology has an exponential impact: even a 1% gain in product quality can help a company to achieve overwhelming growth in terms of user numbers or revenue. This is the ‘superstar effect’, which assumes close competition, transparency and an efficient market.”

“If early quantum-computing devices can offer even a modest increase in computing speed or power, early adopters will reap the rewards.”

“Rival companies would face high entry barriers to match the same quality of services and products, because few experts can write quantum algorithms, and businesses need time to tailor new algorithms. The markets that are most open to such disruptions are information-rich and digital, and involve business challenges that rely on many variables. Such markets include financial services, health care, logistics and data analytics.”

“Making a business case requires companies to examine demand and supply. Demand can be assessed as follows. First, identify the ‘minimal viable products’ — early quantum innovations with just enough core features to enter the market. Estimate whether the innovation solves an existing need (product–market fit), the time it would take to commercialize the product (speed to market) and the market’s response (business traction).”

 

“For example, encryption breaking — often portrayed in the media as a ‘killer application’ for digital quantum computers — does not score highly in terms of market fit. It will one day be superseded by crypto systems that are immune to quantum attack. And most private enterprises are uninterested in breaking encryption systems. By contrast, portfolio optimization and risk management need immediate data feedback and could benefit from quantum-enhanced models.”

“More efficient quantum-chemistry calculations would revolutionize the development of pharmaceuticals, catalytic converters, solar cells and fertilizers.”

“Quantum-assisted optimization and inference techniques could empower new machine-learning and artificial-intelligence systems. These could improve the management of renewable power generators, and of remote-sensing and early-warning systems. The techniques would also aid dynamic pricing for online goods and services, as well as warehouse automation and self-driving cars.”

“On the supply side, companies will distinguish themselves through the quality of their technology and teams. Pioneering quantum academics and entrepreneurs will have to work together. This will be challenging because academic incentives are often inconsistent with those of start-up cultures and industry.”

“Strategic partnerships can help businesses to stand out. To attract venture capitalists, the winning quantum products should have business models that require few assets, are low on manufacturing costs and clearly help customers to increase their revenues. Through the cloud, a company could benefit from using existing data centres when applying classical solvers to simple problems, and invoke quantum processors when it matters.”

What now?

“The field of quantum computing will soon achieve a historic milestone — quantum supremacy. It is still unknown whether application-related algorithms will be able to deliver big increases in speed using the sorts of processors that will soon be available. But when quantum hardware becomes sufficiently powerful, it will become possible to test this and develop new types of algorithms.”

“Over the next decade, academia, industry and national labs should work together to develop quantum simulation and quantum machine-learning algorithms. We plan to support such research by offering access to Google’s quantum processors through cloud services to others that lack the necessary capital, expertise or infrastructure.”

Google’s cryostats reach temperatures of 10 millikelvin to run its quantum processors.

If you liked this: See our exclusive interview with one of the author’s of this paper, Google’s Vasil Denchev – ‘Harnessing Nature: The Future Of Quantum Computing With Vasil Denchev From Google.’

Welcome to Quantumbusiness.org! The first news portal dedicated to exploring the quantum computing revolution and its forthcoming impact on global industry. For more information on content creation and the opportunity to share your story with the world, please contact our lead editor Hal Briggs [hal@quantumbusiness.org

Source Reference: Nature