Quantum computing is not magic. It is not going to change how your favorite game, word processor or accounting application operate. It can be thought of as a highly specialized type of computing resource that will be used much as we use GPUs today. For relevant applications that will mean an operating flow along the lines of a big chunk of computing using classical machines; followed by a highly targeted operation on the quantum machine; in turn followed by more computing to interpret the results from the quantum machine and integrate into the larger task.
With this, we can expect to push a range of very significant boundaries in our collective computing capabilities. In the near term bringing significant speed up to today’s operations, in the longer term allowing explorations into presently computationally impossible tasks.
There are some excellent resources out there for getting a technical flavor of quantum computing. That said, this requires a very different mindset to conventional computing. Here are some of the starting points I’ve used:
- Interactive course on Quantum Computing – hosted on Brilliant, a collaboration between Microsoft and Alphabet X
- Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit and Katas – Exploring their excellent quantum programming language, Q#
- The book: “Quantum computing for Computer Scientists” by Yanofsky and Mannucci, 2008
I’m am so far underwhelmed by the resources available for a quick take on what quantum computing brings to both computing and to business for less technical folk. I’ll collect interesting takes on this as edits to this blog, and I am in the process of building a walk-though that will provide analogies, user-models and a sense of the real world and business impacts for the rest of us.
Despite the hype, quantum computing is imminent, and will drive new competitive realities for a huge number of industries.
Michael Harries is a technologist and partner with The Robotics Hub focused on AI and emerging technologies.