You may know the reasons why quantum computing has attracted so much excitement. Despite the enormous progress we’ve achieved as a society with “classical” computers, they simply don’t have enough memory or processing power to solve historically intractable problems. Quantum computers, working with classical computers via the cloud, could be the answer for at least some of these, for now.
Much of the promise of quantum computers will require something called “fault-tolerance,” a goal likely still a decade or more away. But these initial signs of a computational advantage can be acheived with nearer-term approximate quantum computers, which are coming online now. The IBM Q Network systems are the most advanced superconducting universal quantum computers anywhere in the world today. With these systems, scientists will continue to push the field towards the initial demonstrations of “quantum advantage” with applications in chemistry, optimization, and machine learning.
The applications of real-world quantum computing are endless. New drug formulas will be tested by a quantum computer in seconds rather than through years of expensive, complicated trials. Vaccines for pandemics could be formulated within hours of the disease being identified. Autonomous robots and nanobots will be capable of constructing off-world communities using “found” resources on other planets or moons. Business plans will show investors the likelihood of success or failure, saving trillions of dollars while focusing financial resources on the best possible startups. For instance, one of the IBM Q Network collaborators includes, JPMorgan Chase, which will explore how quantum computing might address the challenges of trading strategies, portfolio optimization, asset pricing, and risk analysis.
You get the idea.
Quantum Computers will change life as we know it.