The answers to some of the challenges facing the world today — connectivity for all people and businesses regardless of location, equitable healthcare, sustainable and reliable energy, and reducing the transportation industry’s dependence on fossil fuel — will likely be found in data.
However, we can only discover solutions for these problems, and those that will arise in the future, by processing massive amounts of data quickly and safely. With the increase in quantum computing, corporations, academia, and government have access to technological power needed to begin creating a roadmap for overcoming these obstacles.
What is Quantum Computing? How is it Used?
With the traditional method of computing, your system doubles each time the amount of data doubles. This makes it challenging and slow to process the massive amounts of data required in many industries, such as healthcare, engineering, data analytics, and financial services.
Instead of increasing the size of the system, quantum computing doubles the potential power of the computer with every single cubit added. Systems can then process increasingly large amounts of data in almost real-time without increasing the footprint. Various use cases across industries with large amounts of data are now turning to quantum computing to quickly address previously unsolvable calculations.
The benefits of quantum computing are already being seen in healthcare, specifically in personalized medicine, as researchers and healthcare providers work to predict health risks and determine the best treatment for groups of individuals who meet certain characteristics. Unlike traditional medicine that relies on a more general approach, personalized medicine is patient-centered care that uses patients’ genetic profile to uncover health risks in order to devise treatments that could work best for individuals.
In order to effectively process the massive amounts of health data from millions of dissimilar data points, experts in the emerging field are increasingly relying on quantum computers’ unique ability to resolve complex data management challenges with great speed. This supports the advancement of personalized medicine and its positive impact in healthcare systems.
The accuracy of the insights and predictions from personalized medicine are made possible by using artificial intelligence (AI) along with quantum computing. Combining these two technologies opens up many new use cases for processing large amounts of data to overcome challenges in healthcare and other industries.
To help bring all perspectives together to understand the current gaps with quantum computing and AI, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) recently hosted the Executive Summit on Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence. During the month-long conference, global industry leaders and policymakers shared their perspectives and insights to encourage collaboration as we, as society, take the next steps forward.
Creating Quantum Computing Policy for Today and Tomorrow
Speakers, including United States Congressman Bill Foster and Kilian Gross from European Commission Brussels, Head of Unit DG CNECT A/2, Artificial Intelligence, shared the work being done on creating policies that address key concerns regarding the technologies, between capacity-building fundamental open research and applied competitive research with immediate national security and commercial implications.
Foster spoke about upcoming legislation that expands the National Quantum Initiative by helping to create a bigger pipeline of workers with the highly specialized skills needed. The funding helps improve training in the military as well as college programs related to quantum. The goal is to increase the Department of Defense workforce in quantum, which will help further the effort to use the speed and power of quantum for solving the biggest challenges.
Gross explained that policies must address constituents’ key concerns with AI, including breaching fundamental rights and discriminatory outcomes. As part of this effort, Europe is currently reviewing its Coordinated Plan on AI, which was created in 2018.
He also said that the legislative framework must create an ecosystem of trust by focusing on safety and fundamental rights with a risk-based and proportionate regulatory approach to high-risk uses of AI. The first step is determining which AI systems are most likely to affect people’s right to safety or fundamental rights, such as privacy, and focusing legislation only on these use cases. Then the legislation can create mandatory requirements, such as training data, human oversight, and data/record keeping.
Three Steps to Long-Term Thinking in Quantum Computing
Dr. Paul Lopata, PhD, Principal Director for Quantum Science at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defence Research and Engineering gave his insights on what organizations should do today to build the pathway to success with quantum in the future. He explained that high power computing isn’t a single technique, but instead built with supercomputers, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and graphics processing units (GPUs).
Lopata says that organizations should focus on the long game with quantum computing and start strategizing today for the long-term future. He shared his three steps to long-term thinking in quantum computing:
- Align to your organization’s values
- Build your internal expertise
- Partner with like-minded organizations
Enhancing Well-Being with Quantum Computing and AI
Quantum computing could become one of several breakthrough solutions that help expand our capabilities to ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being for all at all ages and help create a more sustainable society in the long run. Using quantum computing, along with AI, enables us to address some of today’s biggest issues, and in the process building re-creatable and scalable technology frameworks and processes as we work toward achieving universal healthcare for all.