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Microsoft’s Krysta Svore Explores the Present Status of QC & Its Future Implications on “Hansel Minutes” Podcast

Dr. Krysta Svore is a distinguished researcher and leads Microsoft Quantum — Redmond (QuArC) group. Her expertise spans quantum computation, algorithms and high-level programming. A Ph.D. graduate from Columbia University, her research has included machine learning (ML) algorithms, web search, information retrieval, and web user dynamics.

This month, Svore featured on the popular coding podcast Hansel Minutes. Scott Hanselman, the host of the podcast, asked Svore about quantum computing, its current state and its potential impact.

Svore explained that quantum computers exist today, but are in early forms and not yet more powerful than classical computers. As they scale up, she noted, they’re expected to outperform classical computers on certain problems, solving in hours what would take billions of years conventionally. Quantum computers, she went on, are not necessarily faster in clock rate but are more efficient due to fewer operations needed in algorithms.

“Quantum computers exist today actually and really they’ve been around in a very small early form for several years now. Our goal now is to see a quantum computer scale up. They can’t do anything more powerful than your classical computers but as we scale them up, the promise is that on certain problems they’re going to far outperform what we can do with your conventional computing.”

 — Dr. Krysta Svore

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Quantum computers are viewed as accelerators, like GPUs or FPGAs, and will not replace conventional computing but complement it for specific problems. Svore also touched on the influence of quantum computing in fields like ML, envisioning a future where quantum mechanics help create better models for various applications.

The conversation delved into the technical aspects of quantum computing, including qubits, superposition and quantum interference. Svore clarified to the interviewer the misconceptions and explained how qubits operate in a quantum state, being able to represent multiple possibilities simultaneously. This leads to a discussion on quantum algorithms and their probabilistic nature, with the quantum computer sculpting solutions to amplify the probability of obtaining the correct answer.

“The key is that when you look at the algorithms, the applications that you’re going to run on a quantum computer, the number of operations in those algorithms or in those applications is so much fewer, so much less than the number of operations you would need to do on your conventional computer, that indeed the ultimate runtime to find the solution is much, much faster.”

 — Dr. Krysta Svore

Further, they discussed Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit and its new programming language, Q#, designed to make quantum computing more accessible. The kit includes a simulator for running quantum algorithms on classical computers, preparing developers for future scaled-up quantum computers.

Towards the end, Svore advised on identifying problems suitable for quantum computing solutions, bringing attention to tasks involving the simulation of physical systems, materials science, catalysis, and certain machine learning applications. The interview concluded with Svore encouraging listeners to explore Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit to learn more about quantum computing.

“Quantum computers can help us find solutions to this level of problem… we’re looking at solving things that really give us more knowledge about how to better more efficiently produce food or combat things like global warming. These are no small scale problems; we’re looking at problems that the human race needs to face and solve.”

 — Dr. Krysta Svore

Featured image: Krysta Svore. Credit: Caltech and the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter

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James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Picture of Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Picture of Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Picture of Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

Company Speaker

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