• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    Quantum Computing: Paving the Way for the Future

    BySam Figg

    Nov 21, 2023
    Quantum Computing: Paving the Way for the Future


    Quantum computing has been making waves in recent years, with its potential to revolutionize various industries. Drawing parallels with the early days of computing, where vacuum tube computers paved the way for technological advancements, quantum systems are also complex and not easily understood. However, quantum computing offers a whole new realm of possibilities that can’t be achieved with classical computing alone.

    The Quest for a Competitive Edge

    Just like early computer systems, quantum computing requires significant investment and expertise to deploy, program, and maintain. Companies are now seeking to gain a competitive advantage by adopting quantum systems, especially in industries like finance and banking. While the extent of this advantage is not always clear, the fear of missing out (FOMO) drives many to invest early in the hope of reaping significant benefits.

    Quantum Supremacy and Beyond

    The debate around quantum supremacy, where quantum systems outperform classical computers, continues. However, analysts argue that there isn’t a single task quantum systems can perform today that classical computers can’t. Nevertheless, by combining classical and quantum computing, early adopters have achieved advantages that go beyond classical computing alone. This realization fuels the belief that quantum computing holds immense potential for those who embrace it early.

    Quantum Investment and Commercialization

    Governments and enterprises alike have recognized the potential impact of quantum computing and have invested in its development. Initiatives such as the US2QC program by DARPA aim to fast-track the development and application of quantum systems. The objective is to ensure that quantum technologies are not left behind and can address potential threats, such as cracking modern encryption. Companies across various sectors, like automotive, finance, and energy, are teaming up with quantum computing vendors to explore new possibilities and gain a competitive edge.

    The Rise of Generative AI

    While quantum commercialization is underway, the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) poses challenges. Many business leaders prefer to invest in technologies that offer near-term returns on investment rather than long-term commitments. Technologies like GPUs and accelerators power AI models and provide tangible near-term results. As a result, there has been a shift in priority towards generative AI, although enterprises have not entirely abandoned their quantum investments.

    The Complex World of Quantum Systems

    Navigating the quantum computing landscape can be daunting, as numerous vendors offer services on systems with varying numbers of qubits. However, the number of qubits does not solely determine a quantum system’s maturity and performance. Factors like decoherence and qubit quality also play a significant role. Different quantum systems are optimized for specific workloads, making it crucial to choose the right system for specific quantum problems. For example, an IBM system may excel in computational chemistry, while D-Wave systems are better suited for optimization tasks like route planning.

    The Road Ahead

    The high cost and unique operating conditions of quantum systems have led to many organizations opting for cloud-based services. Nonetheless, certain providers are exploring the possibilities of rackmount quantum systems that can be deployed in enterprise data centers. On-prem deployments, however, currently offer limited benefits and are primarily focused on latency-sensitive applications and scientific research. The goal is to evolve from solving classical problems using quantum methods to effectively solving entirely new classes of quantum problems with quantum algorithms.


    Quantum computing is a fascinating field with boundless potential. As the technology continues to evolve, early adopters stand to gain significant advantages. However, it is crucial to navigate the complex world of quantum systems and make informed decisions based on specific requirements. Quantum computing holds the key to solving new and previously unsolvable problems, ultimately propelling innovation in various industries. Embracing the possibilities that quantum computing offers leads us into a future of limitless possibilities and unprecedented advancements.


    What is quantum computing?

    Quantum computing is a branch of computing that utilizes quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to process and store information. Unlike classical computers, which use bits, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This unique property enables quantum computers to perform certain tasks more efficiently than classical computers.

    What is quantum supremacy?

    Quantum supremacy refers to the scenario where a quantum computer can perform a calculation or solve a problem faster than any classical computer currently available. Achieving quantum supremacy is a major milestone in the field of quantum computing.

    What are the potential applications of quantum computing?

    Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize various industries. It can enhance optimization algorithms, accelerate machine learning processes, facilitate drug discovery and development, improve cryptography, and solve complex optimization problems, among other applications. The true extent of quantum computing’s capabilities is still being explored.

    Where can I learn more about quantum computing?

    For further information on quantum computing, you can refer to reputable sources such as scientific journals, research papers, and technology-focused publications. Websites such as Quantum.gov and Phys.org provide valuable insights into the latest advancements and developments in the field of quantum computing.