Hybrid: A thing made by combining two different elements. ‘jungle is a hybrid of reggae and house music’
— Oxford English Dictionary
Two heads are better than one. It’s not always the case but for the most part, the expression rings true.
There are quite a few examples of hybrid technology that we use in today’s world, from hybrid solar power systems, biodiesel to battery-powered electric vehicles.
Another, though still in its infancy, is in quantum computing (QC). This technology — which has the potential to solve some of the most intractable problems that have been the bane of computer scientists, mathematicians and physicians for decades — is only now showing its true potential. One such problem is in the factoring of extremely large numbers.
‘Most problems in financial services are ‘constrained’ to be able to solve them using classical algorithms and computers. This is best illustrated by an example of frogs in the well versus birds in the sky. A well has a defined shape, defined amount of water and therefore optimizing the number of frogs that would fit comfortably in the well is simple as this is a constrained problem. If you instead, were to look at an example of birds in the sky, they can fly different distances, different speeds, different angles. different time intervals etc. This is unconstrained and not possible to optimize.’
— Vish R, CogniFrame Inc
A Canadian startup, CogniFrame Inc, founded in Toronto in 2016, intends to use hybrid quantum systems to ‘help institutions improve outcomes’.
CogniFrame Inc offers three main services:
— The Financial Services Operating Layer, which sits ‘on top of Quantum Cloud to solve NP-hard problems
— Quantum Optimization. This utilizes algorithms that leverage the power of QC for solving problems that arise within the financial services industry
— Finally, there are its proprietary methods in Quantum Simulation that can scale and become commercially viable with the exponential growth in qubit number
CogniFrame is The Hybrid Machine Learning Company. Its solutions use Classical Machine Learning and Quantum Optimization, Sampling and Simulations to help institutions improve their Outcomes.
— CogniFrame Inc
The team consists of several data scientists, a business development manager and a software engineer. In charge — and the brains behind the startup — is Vish R., CogniFrame Inc’s CEO and founder.
With a degree in economics and an MBA from Mumbai University, Vish R has a storied CV. Positions at HSBC and Scotiabank were warmers before he became a vice-president at Emergis Technlogies Inc in the mid-2000s. From there, in 2006, he founded Logistrics, an information technology and services company.
When TQD asked Vish R about algorithms, the core service of his startup, the CEO had this to say:
‘The evolution of automotive and computing algorithms have some interesting similarities. The automobile has evolved from being purely gas-powered to hybrid models to fully electric-powered vehicles. Similarly, computing algorithms have started to evolve from being purely ‘classical’ to ‘quantum-inspired’ as well as ‘hybrid quantum models’ that use a combination of classical and quantum components’
And on the coming developments in the space, he added ‘the near term future of quantum is a combo of ‘quantum-inspired’ and ‘hybrid quantum’ approaches that deliver real commercial advantages. The ecosystem for quantum is still being built. There are many competing technologies and approaches and no clear winners. CogniFrame’s financial services operating layer interfaces with these disparate technologies making it easy for institutions to adopt quantum and reduces their adoption risk.’
This is a great insight and sure to become the main business model for a lot of startups in the QC ecosystem.
‘We expect hybrid quantum commercialization announcements by participants in the market over the next 12 months or so as the technology evolves.’
— Vish R, CogniFrame Inc
As the startup spreads its wings, you can be sure TQD will be closely following its business successes.