“Technologists, Academia, and Government” Collaboration Needed for Quantum Computing Success
Quantum Computing Holds Promise for the Public Sector
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+ Today, quantum is about to enter what many believe is its golden age, with the potential to calculate a vast number of computational problems in a fraction of a second. Once confined to high-tech labs at research universities and leading technology firms, quantum computers are beginning to tackle a range of problems that include science, health care, business and government.
+ Still, you can’t go out and buy a quantum computer and put it in your data center — but the day when that can happen may be here sooner than some people think.
Quantum computers can vault far past today’s systems. They could help resolve issues around health care and policy outcomes, but technologists, academia and government will need to collaborate to make them truly useful.
+ Despite the challenges, researchers and tech firms are optimistic about the future of quantum computing. “If we stay on the rate and pace [of doubling the quantum computer’s capabilities], which we believe we can, then by the 2020s, you are going to have systems large enough to have real business value,” said Crowder.
+ Microsoft will likely start offering quantum computing as a service, according to Love. IonQ expects to do the same.
“For some problems, a classical computer would require more memory than there are atoms in the universe, but quantum has the ability to tackle that kind of problem.”
+ So, what does this mean for state and local government? For the moment, Crowder sees a role at the state and local level in terms of educating students in high school, college and post-graduate programs about the importance of quantum mechanics and computing. “It’s about getting them to understand the basics of machine learning before they move on to college,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities there.”
+ The bottom line is that quantum computing remains a heavy lift that can’t be carried by tech firms alone if the technology is to become sustainable and scalable. “We need a partnership between technology, business, academia and government to make this happen,” Crowder said.
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