IBM executive says Quantum Computing is becoming more relevant in recent WSJ piece

IBM’s Dr. Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, recently remarked that this is the decade of quantum computing. Chief information officers (CIOs) will have to adapt and learn more about the technology. These companies will have to evaluate the risks as well.

Previously, hardware limitations have held back quantum computing, but Dr. Gil says that this is about to change. IBM plans to release new quantum systems in 2021 and 2022, but in 2023, there are big plans to release groundbreaking technology. This development is slated to allow engineers to prevent errors with software instead of hardware alone.

‘We’ve got to get these computers to operate without errors, and if we can do that we’ll realize their full potential. So what we envision is in 2023, when we deliver that system, it will be an inflection point in that the errors of quantum computers will continue to decrease exponentially through software, as opposed to just by making the device better.’

Dr. Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research
IBM Quantum software development
IBM software development roadmap for Quantum Computing

At this point, quantum computers are likely to be used much more than ever. Even before this, many major corporations are already experimenting with the technology, such as Visa, JPMorgan Chase, Roche Holding, and Volkswagen.

Even if commercial-grade quantum computers aren’t available yet, many startups and quantum titans such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft are competing to be the first to do so.

Dr. Gil believes that quantum computers can discover new knowledge in the fields of modeling physics, chemistry, and materials science faster. This can potentially allow the creation of more efficient batteries for the automotive industry or more effective carbon-capture membranes to fight climate change.

Artificial intelligence is also another field that will benefit from quantum computing because it can solve complex mathematical problems faster than before.

For now, CIOs can start experimenting with open-source quantum platforms such as Qiskit. Through these software, they can allow their developers to learn how to use real quantum hardware or simulators through the cloud for running quantum programmes. Dr. Gil believes that companies should form small groups to help each other explore quantum technology and identify problems to solve.

However, a darker side exists in the form of cybersecurity. Quantum computers can break through current cybersecurity solutions. This will require the companies to also adopt ‘quantum-safe’ encryption protocols and defences.

‘It’s very important that all of you develop crypto-agility, and you develop a migration path and a quantum-safe approach to do encryption and security,” he said. “Because if you don’t, you’re going to leave your institutions vulnerable to these kinds of attacks in the future.’

Dr. Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research

Read more details from the WSJ article. Certainly there has been a great deal of interest in the Quantum space – especially in the wake of news that IonQ (our recent Quantum Company of the day) is intending to get to a public listing via a SPAC.