Wells Fargo’s Charge Into Quantum Computing
Behind Wells Fargo’s foray into quantum computing
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ Wells Fargo’s relatively new technology chief, Saul Van Beurden, is leading the company into quantum computing.
+ He recently led the bank to sign an agreement with IBM and MIT to collaborate on quantum computing and artificial intelligence technology. Van Beurden says the goal is to test and learn about the technology in order to determine its best use cases and potential impact on financial services.
“There are three camps in the industry,” said Van Beurden, a senior executive vice president and head of technology. “There’s the camp that says quantum will never come to production. There is the camp of people who believe it will take a long time before it will get in production, a long time defined as 10 or 15 years, maybe longer. And there is a camp that says, well, things might go faster. You’d better test and learn and be on it because if this wave starts to take off, it might have game changing impact for the industry. We are in the third camp. That’s why we signed up. We don’t want to be the bank that has regrets in a few years.”
+ Under the agreement, Wells Fargo will join the IBM Q Network, a community of large companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working to advance quantum computing. IBM will provide Wells Fargo access to its quantum computing systems for use case exploration and fundamental research at the IBM Quantum Computation Center. And Wells Fargo will participate in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, a collaborative lab that IBM and MIT announced in September 2017, along with a quarter-billion-dollar investment from IBM.
+ Jerry Silva, research director for IDC Financial Insights, said this technology will be largely the domain of large Wall Street banks because it’s so expensive.
+ “I see the top-tier institutions only using it to run highly critical applications,” he said. “If you look at trading, for example, that’s a perfect opportunity to gain competitive advantage if you can make a decision that much faster than your competitor. This is going to be a huge differentiating factor for things like trading and portfolio balancing.”
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