Chemical systems are governed by the laws of quantum physics, and classical simulations of such systems are limited in accuracy and efficiency. Quantum computation will allow for modeling of more complex interactions with greater depth and precision. This ability will have a major impact in drug discovery, as quantum computation will allow for the molecular modeling and chemical reaction predictions necessary to understand different pharmaceuticals and how they will interact with our bodies. This application of quantum power will save thousands—and eventually, millions— of lives.
From banking to national security, we rely on classical encryption every day in a quest to keep private information, well, private. This system of data protection (using “keys” to ensure information is only accessible by its intended recipient), however, will soon be rendered obsolete. Due to its ability to entertain large numbers of solutions at once (rather than sorting through sequentially like classical computers do), Quantum technology will be able to break such the encryption of today in a matter of instants. Fortunately, concurrent with Quantum’s ability to break codes is its potential to create new, virtually uncrackable encryption. Called post-quantum cryptography, it uses photons to transfer keys, a method which makes cloning the key impossible. This encryption method will be essential to securing information as the world moves forward with quantum.
Artificial intelligence has not reached its potential — It is, at present, unable to move past its “artificiality” to become a truly creative technology. Quantum computers present the solution. As master problem-solvers, they exhibit the ideal combination of humans’ probabilistic thought-process and classical computing’s data processing power. Quantum machine learning will give AI the boost it needs to solve difficult optimization problems with human ingenuity and computerized speed. The future will be underpinned by the hybrid of these two technologies; together, their potential is boundless.
“People ask, ‘Well, is it a thousand times faster? Is it a million times faster?’ It all depends on the application. It could do things in a minute that we don’t know how to do classically in the age of the universe. For other types of tests, a quantum computer probably helps you only modestly or, in some cases, not at all.”
head of Quantum Information Center at University of Texas at Austin, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal