by Victor AI, Founder and CEO of Terminus Group
It is no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is currently considered to be one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the 21st century, with a potential and capacity for wide versatility and application, across multiple individual lifestyle and industrial uses. However, as we also step into the era of quantum computing, significant investment and R&D is being placed in this area from big tech companies. This is no real surprise as actively pursuing this technology has the potential to improve the performance of their AI and machine learning systems, for the benefit of both individual and industrial products and services, in the near future.
To some, it may seem that we have just got our heads around the concept of AI and now we are forging ahead into another somewhat ‘baffling’ technological leap; however, the benefits for both individuals and organisations are fairly simple – yet also mind-blowingly exciting.
In terms of AI applications, very simply, the current computing power of classical computing structures is not sufficient to fully realise the potential and demands being placed on these machines, by AI. So, in short, quantum computing has the potential to greatly improve the processing capabilities of AI.
What is Quantum Computing?
Unlike traditional computing, which relies on binary 1-0 bits to store data, quantum computing takes advantage of the principles of quantum mechanics, allowing it to perform various calculations and advanced mathematical calculations simultaneously, which is currently well beyond the computational capabilities of modern supercomputers. To put it in a rather simplistic context, a calculation that could take thousands of years to complete, using existing computing models, could take a mere few hours, with quantum computing.
Think back to the 1960s and 1970s and we know that computers would easily take up a whole room or building in order to process small amounts of information. Such computing power can now be done in seconds while held in the palm of your hand. It is probably fair to say that quantum computers are at a similarly large scale as we witnessed at the dawn of the classical computing era, but it will eventually also become a handheld capability, in the not-too-distant future.
Where will quantum AI be seen first and why do we need it?
A key driving force behind research and development into quantum computing is to transform these benefits into real-world business solutions, and an important application of quantum computing, in AI, is the development of predictive analytics. The analysis of large amounts of data is at the core of AI, which requires an enormous amount of capacity and speed to be effective.
To put this in context, quantum technology could be used in the forecasting the dynamics of stock market movements or climate change. Also, with a significant amount of the world’s data volume currently resting within the field of healthcare, quantum computing and AI will no doubt be useful in the R&D of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Practical applications for other businesses will include the handling of large datasets, to process data more efficiently and detect and resolve abnormalities much quicker. For example, financial firms or institutions will improve their fraud detection capabilities by more quickly recognizing patterns in the large volumes of information they collect.
What are the advantages of quantum computing in AI?
One of the most common applications of quantum computing is in solving mathematical problems. Due to its ability to perform calculations with greater accuracy and speed, with the help of AI this will improve the efficiency of various scientific studies, effectively reducing research time down from decades to months.
In the coming years, various industries and sectors will be impacted by the commercial and industrial applications of quantum computers and this has led to some of the world’s major financial organizations already having made investments in the development of these technologies. These include the likes of Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Citigrоuр.
Other industries that are expected to benefit from the commercial and industrial applications of quantum computers include healthcare, transportation, and sustainability.
While the speed and efficiency of quantum computing and AI is undoubted, ironically, the path to progress is only being slowed down by the fact that the technology is still not being as widely discussed in the AI and Machine Learning (ML) communities as it should. It is true to say, however, that one of the key reasons for this is that many people are simply unsure how to apply its use in their practical work environment.
That said, despite the current technological limitations of quantum AI, its potential application across various industries is immense and will only grow in popularity and demand once the benefits become clearer. As developers and engineers increase the number of their quantum software applications, more people will be able to access quantum AI, and it will play a vital role in the development of AI and future applications – predicting and solving problems at a much higher rate of efficiency.
With the market for quantum computing expected to reach around $2.2 billion, in the next few years, the number of people working on the development of these technologies will also continue to increase, creating new jobs and allowing more individuals and enterprises to benefit from its potential.