Savoie: Quantum Computing + Machine Learning is Coming
Zapata CEO Christopher Savoie: The QC and ML business use case is ‘a when, not an if’
+ The story of quantum computing hardware companies is well known. But as tech giants Amazon and Microsoft push the quantum computing conversation to the cloud, we’re also seeing quantum computing software companies emerge. One such company, Zapata, is building an enterprise software platform for quantum computing.
“So this is going to impact all of machine learning, pretty much,” he continued. “The ability to sample from probability distributions that would take you 10,000 years on a classical computer, even a powerful supercomputer classical computer is going to really change the world of how accurate our models are going to be and how long it takes to train them and how many samples it takes to train them to the same level of accuracy.”
+ Savoie believes the time component of ML training, and therefore also the accuracy of the training, is going to see a step function change as QC becomes more powerful. Furthermore, some of those techniques will soon be tractable in production on classical systems, he asserted. One customer that he refused to name is currently developing a system for optimization work using machine learning and quantum-inspired algorithms. The plan is to put them into production by the end of this year or early next year. That enterprise system will then be creating “real business value,” Savoie said, even before the company has switched to qubits.
+ To be clear, Zapata does not have any customers using ML algorithms on quantum computers in production. The company’s Orquestra platform is currently in beta. But its customers are using it to build systems that will go into production in the near term, Savoie insists. So, when?
+ “Within the next year, likely, these will be quantum-inspired, classical backends,” Savoie said. “Within the next, I would say between two to five years, I won’t give you an exact timeframe — the power of these quantum computers, if they keep going on this trajectory — we will be swapping out that backend. Developing the algorithms, which are a bit different for those backends, is ongoing now. Companies are investing in creating those algorithms, because it’s imminent. Nobody will put a timeframe on it. I wish I could for you. I can’t. But in some ways, it doesn’t matter, right? Is it two years, three years, five years — it’s in the mid-term business plan that that disruption is going to happen.”
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