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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Quantum Experts Reflect on 2023, Peer Into 2024

quantum thought leaders

The quantum community has a reason to celebrate some important milestones in 2023, while looking ahead with a mix of optimism and even a little concern.

Here’s a collection of reflections of 2023 and predictions for 2024 contributed by some of the ecosystem’s best known experts and thought leaders, including officials from Quantinuum, Terra Quantum, IQM Computers, Keysight and D-Wave.

Quantinuum, Terra Quantum And Multiverse Computing

2023 observations
“Quantum advantage, the elusive goal of quantum computing, has been claimed by several companies and researchers in 2023 but these claims are based on very narrow and artificial problems that have no practical relevance or value. What we really need is practical quantum advantage, which means solving problems that matter for science, industry, and society, using quantum devices that are feasible and affordable in terms of size, weight, power consumption, and cost.” – Ilyas Khan, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Quantinuum 
“In 2023, we saw the growth of the quantum computing ecosystem, with more players entering the field and more collaborations forming across academia, industry, and government. The U.S. Department of Energy announced $625 million in funding for five new Quantum Information Science Research Centers. These initiatives reflect the increasing interest and investment in quantum computing around the world.” – Raj Hazra, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quantinuum
“In 2023, academic and business organizations worldwide actively constructed quantum communications networks, spanning from a few miles to over a hundred miles in size. Research teams in places such as Chicago, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Hefei, China, diligently worked on various components required to establish this groundbreaking communications network. In June 2023, Terra Quantum achieved a groundbreaking feat in quantum communication: a new world record for both the speed of quantum data transmission and the distance covered. Using a fiber-optic network, the team successfully sent quantum-encrypted data over an impressive 1,032 kilometers (640 miles) and surpassed the previous record of generating secure, ready-to-use quantum keys by over 10,000 times.” – Florian Neukart, Chief Product Officer, Terra Quantum
Predictions for 2024
“Quantum hardware may start becoming more ready for industry-wide applications, thanks to powerful error-mitigation techniques and scalability experiments. Also, artificial intelligence will get a dramatic boost thanks to quantum-inspired methods, which will bring further memory efficiency, speed and accuracy. Multiverse is a pioneer in these techniques and will continue to develop quantum applications for large language models.” – Prof. Román Orús, PhD, Cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer, Multiverse Computing
“In 2024, we expect to see more adoption and integration of quantum technologies in real-world scenarios, as well as more collaboration and standardization among different stakeholders. We also anticipate more challenges and opportunities arising from the coexistence of classical and quantum systems, such as interoperability, compatibility, and security.” – Raj Hazra, President and CEO, Quantinuum
“In 2024, I think we’ll see a shift away from the focus on the qubit race and a broader perspective on the ability of quantum computing to expand the capabilities of other technologies. In the next 12 months, quantum hardware companies will achieve even closer integrations between classical and quantum hardware and software to achieve the highest performance from each technology. It will also be increasingly clear that quantum computing is the gateway towards artificial general intelligence based on quantum mechanics’ non-local, non-causal, and non-deterministic nature.” – Markus Pflitsch, CEO and Founder, Terra Quantum


IQM Quantum Computers

“In the upcoming year, I anticipate quantum computing will continue to present a growing concern for companies. But more importantly, next year businesses must evaluate their data and determine what information is of real value, to start transitioning into post-quantum cryptography as soon as possible.” – Toni Pesonen, Head of IT and Cyber Security at IQM Quantum Computers

“Looking ahead to 2024, it is unlikely that we will see significant breakthroughs in the field of quantum cybersecurity, particularly with regards to code breaking. Nevertheless, the shift towards quantum-safe encryption will require a significant investment of time and resources, and it is essential to ensure the security of sensitive data in the long term. This presents an opportunity for organisations and institutions to focus on educating themselves and adapting their encryption systems to become quantum safe. In terms of other security applications, there may be more use cases identified for fraud detection using quantum computing.

“While progress in quantum cybersecurity may be slow, there are other areas where we are closer to achieving quantum advantage. One such area is machine learning, where quantum computing can provide significant speedups for complex problems. We are already seeing this being tested in projects such as process optimisation in production. Another area where quantum computing is showing promise is in the simulation of chemical problems. This is already being applied in projects such as battery development.

“As we move into 2024, we can expect to see more proof-of-concept use cases being published and a wider adoption of quantum computing in various industries. This will require collaboration between end-users and quantum experts to identify use cases and develop solutions that leverage the unique capabilities of quantum computing. Overall, while progress in these areas takes time, the potential benefits of quantum computing make it an exciting and promising field to watch in the coming years.” — Dr. Jan Goetz, Cofounder and CEO at IQM

 


Keysight

From Theory to Reality: The Quantum Potential

Quantum technology allows us to harness the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems that are extremely challenging or impossible today. With quantum technology, complex simulations and computations, secure communication, and more powerful imaging and sensor techniques will be possible.

Navigating the Quantum Landscape: Bridging the Talent Gap

Quantum technologies are expanding beyond the academic realm and into startups, high-tech companies, and the military. This will give rise to more quantum hubs, incubators, and local and national ecosystems all trying to build a workforce able to seize the quantum opportunity. Solving the talent gap is critical to realizing the potential of quantum in the coming years and decades.

From Labs to Lecture Halls: The Quantum Leap in Education

The shortage of quantum talent will create an opportunity for higher education to offer new programs to help train the future quantum workforce. By 2030, quantum courses will be commonplace. These programs will involve industry partners so students can access the latest quantum control and readout technologies and obtain the right technical skills. In addition, business schools will offer quantum courses to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs to enter into the quantum ecosystem.

Democratizing Quantum: The Emergence of Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS)

Due to the significant cost and resource burden in developing quantum labs, this will give rise to more quantum-as-a-service (QaaS) providers. Remote cloud access to quantum processors, test beds for device characterization, and foundries that offer fabrication services are examples of services that are available which in turn will help attract startups into the quantum ecosystem. QaaS providers, over time, will help standardize device operation, characterization, and fabrication, which will enable benchmarking of quantum processors and qubit-adjacent enabling technologies.

Inclusive Innovation: Quantum Community Champions Gender Equality

Quantum has the potential to become the first technology sector to achieve gender equality. This will result from an ongoing concerted effort to attract women and ensure a diverse workforce is the norm rather than the exception.

Knowledge Gaps Will Throttle the Progress of Quantum

Quantum research and development will continue to attract investment from governments, academia, and industry however, knowledge gaps and the availability of state-of-the-art technology will limit the pace of progress. For example, if the capability to produce high-quality quantum processor units (QPUs) is missing due to the lack of an advanced and dedicated cleanroom facility, this will slow progress.

Dr. Philip Krantz, Quantum Engineering Solutions at Keysight

EDA Turns to AI: From Complexity to Clarity

The application of AI and ML techniques in EDA is still in the early adopter phase, with design engineers exploring use cases to simplify complex problems. The intelligence is particularly valuable in model development and validation for simulation, where it assists in processing large volumes of data. In 2024, organizations will increasingly adopt both technologies for device modeling of silicon and III-V semiconductor process technologies, as well as system modeling for forthcoming standards such as 6G, where research is well underway.

Next-Gen Quantum Design: Optimizing System Performance

Quantum computing is advancing at a rapid pace and is transitioning from predominantly free research tools to commercial products and workflows in quantum design. Next-generation quantum design will require more integrated simulation workflows that provide developers with fast and accurate capabilities to optimize system performance.

Niels Faché, VP & GM, Keysight EDA at Keysight

 


D-Wave

Alan Baratz, President and CEO of D-Wave

Quantum Supremacy 

Prediction: The industry will achieve a proven, defensible quantum supremacy result in 2024. Ongoing scientific and technical advancements indicate that we are far along the path to achieving quantum supremacy. 2024 will be the year where quantum definitively outperforms classical, full stop. There will be clear evidence of quantum’s ability to solve a complex computational problem previously unsolvable by classical computing, and quantum will solve it faster, better and with less power consumption. The breakthrough we’ve all been pursuing is coming.

Rapid Governmental Adoption of Quantum

Prediction:  The US government’s usage of annealing quantum computing will increase given the anticipated passing of legislation including the National Quantum Initiative and the National Defense Authorization Act. 2024 will see a rapid uptick in quantum sandbox and test bed programs — with directives to use all types of quantum technology, including annealing, hybrid and gate model. These programs will focus on near-term application development to solve real-world public sector problems, from public transportation vehicle routing to electric grid resilience.

Prediction:  The global quantum race will continue to heat up, as the U.S. and its allies aggressively push for near-term application development. While the U.S. is now starting to accelerate near-term applications, other governments like Australia, Japan, the U.K., and the E.U. have been making expedited moves to bring quantum in to solve public sector challenges.  This effort will greatly expand in 2024. Top public sector areas of focus will likely be sustainability, transportation and logistics, supply chain, and health care.

Business Impact and the Future of Work

Prediction: Quantum computing will show proven value and utility in daily business operations through in-production applications. As we close 2023, companies are beginning to go into production with quantum-hybrid applications, so it’s no stretch of the imagination to see corporations using quantum solutions daily for ubiquitous business challenges such as employee scheduling, vehicle routing, and supply chain optimization. In time, it will become a part of every modern IT infrastructure, starting with the integration of annealing quantum computing.

Prediction: With economists projecting a shallow recession in 2024, organizations will seek new technologies, such as quantum computing, to navigate adversity and bolster business resilience. Quantum technologies can accelerate problem solving and decision making for a wide range of common organizational processes, such as supply chain management, manufacturing efficiency, logistical planning, and employee scheduling. Amidst a challenging economic environment, quantum’s ability to fuel operational efficiencies is critical.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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