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Quantum Computing for Everyone – The Startup – Medium

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Qubits are exponentially faster than bits in several computing problems, such as database searches and factoring (which, as we will discuss soon, may break your Internet encryption).

An important thing to realize is that qubits can hold much more information than a bit can. One bit holds the same amount of information as one qubit they can both only hold one value. However, four bits must be used to store the same amount of information as two qubits. A two-qubit system in equal superposition holds values for four states, which on a classical computer, would need at least four bits to hold. Eight bits are needed to store the same amount of information as three qubits, since a three-qubit system can store eight states 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, and 111. This pattern continues.

The below graph provides a visual for the computing power of qubits. The x-axis represents the number of qubits used to hold a certain amount of information. The blue lines y represents the number of bits needed to hold the same amount of information as the number of qubits (x-axis), or 2 to the power of x. The red lines y represents the number of qubits needed to hold the same amount of information as the number of qubits in the x-axis (y=x).

Imagine the exponential speedup quantum computing can provide! A gigabyte (8E+09 bits) worth of information can be represented with log(8E+09)/log(2) = 33 (rounded up from 32.9) qubits.

Quantum computers are also great at factoring numbers which leads us to RSA encryption. The security protocol that secures Medium and probably any other website youve been on is known as RSA encryption. It relies on the fact that with current computing resources, it would take a very, very long time to factor a 30+-digit number m that has only one solution namely, p times q, where both p and q are large prime numbers. However, dividing m by p or q is computationally much easier, and since m divided by q returns p and vice versa, it provides a quick key verification system.

A quantum algorithm called Shors algorithm has shown exponential speedup in factoring numbers, which could one day break RSA encryption. But dont buy into the hype yet as of this writing, the largest number factored by quantum computers is 21 (into 3 and 7). The hardware has not been developed yet for quantum computers to factor 30-digit numbers or even 10-digit numbers. Even if quantum computers one day do break RSA encryption, a new security protocol called BB84 that relies on quantum properties is verified safe from quantum computers.

So will quantum computers ever completely replace the classical PC? Not in the forseeable future.

Quantum computing, while developing very rapidly, is still in an infantile stage, with research only being conducted semi-competitively by large corporations like Google, Microsoft, and IBM. Much of the hardware to accelerate quantum computing is not currently available. There are several obstacles to a quantum future, of which a major one is addressing gate errors and maintaining integrity of a qubits state.

However, given the amount of innovation that has happened in the past few years, it seems inevitable during our lifetimes that quantum computing will make huge strides. In addition, complexity theory has shown that there are several cases where classical computers perform better than quantum computers. IBM quantum computer developers state that quantum computing will probably never completely eliminate classical computers. Instead, in the future we may see a hybrid chip that relies on quantum transistors for certain tasks and classical transistors for others, depending on which one is more appropriate.

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Quantum Computing for Everyone - The Startup - Medium

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Work from home: Improve your security with MFA – We Live Security

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Remote work can be much safer with the right cyberhygiene practices in place multifactorauthentication is one of them

If you happen to be working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should beef up your logins with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), or sometimes called Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). That way, you dont have to entrust your security to a password alone. Easy to hack, steal, leak, rinse and repeat, passwords have become pass in the security world; its time to dial in your MFA.

That means you have something besides just a password. You may have seen MFA in action when you try to log into your bank and you receive an access code on your smartphone that you must also enter to verify its really you who is logging in. While its an extra step, it becomes exponentially more difficult for bad guys to get access to your account, even if they have a password that was compromised in a breach or otherwise.

The good news is that MFA is no longer super-tough to use. Here, we look at a few different popular ways to use it. If you need to work remotely now and log into a central office to collaborate with co-workers, this is a nice way to beef up the security of those connections.

This means you have something like a key fob, security USB key or the like, which can be used to generate a very secure passcode thats all-but-impossible to break (unless you have a quantum computer handy). Nowadays, things like YubiKey or Thetis are available for less than US$50 and are very widely supported if youre logging into your own corporate office technology, online office applications and a host of other cloud applications. It means your normal login will ask for a password, but also the code generated by your device, which is often physically small enough to get lost in a pants pocket, so some folks hang them on their keychain for safekeeping.

Nowadays you probably carry a mobile device around most of the time, which is a good argument for using it to boost your MFA security stance. For example, you can download an authentication app such as Authy, Google Authenticator, or ESET Secure Authentication. Whatever you choose, make sure it has a solid history, security-wise, since it needs to reside on your smartphone, which we now know can become compromised as well, thereby undermining your other security efforts.

RELATED READING: Work from home: How to set up a VPN

Its worth noting that spam SMS messages on your smartphone can trick some users into voluntarily compromising their own accounts, so stay on the lookout if you use this. Of course, reputable mobile security software can help if youre concerned with security problems on the platform itself.

Its very hard to fake a fingerprint or retinal scan and make sure it offers a solid factor in MFA. Nowadays, lots of devices have built-in biometric readers that can get an image of your face from your smartphone taking your picture, or scan your fingerprint, so its not hard to implement this on a device you probably already have. Some folks steer away due to privacy concerns, which promises to be an ongoing conversation. Also, while you can reset a password, if a provider gets hacked it is notoriously difficult to reset your face (old spy movie plots, anyone?).

The important thing with MFA is that you pick one that suits your goals and one that is easy for you to include in your routine. I have a very good lock on my front door, but its very hard to use, so often my wife catches me leaving it open, which isnt very secure, is it? Good security you dont use cant protect you.

In the event of a breach, MFA can offer side benefits as well. If you are notified that your password is compromised, theres a very good chance they dont also have one of your other factors, so successful hack attacks should drop precipitously if MFA is correctly implemented. Use an MFA solution and enjoy technology more safely.

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Work from home: Improve your security with MFA - We Live Security

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March 19th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

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Career navigation Be at the core or be at the edge – The Financial Express BD

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Radi Shafiq | Published: March 19, 2020 11:02:35

In 2009, for aspiring engineering students, electrical engineering was the best subject to study. By the end of 2014, it seemed to be computer science, now it seems to be data science / statistics. There is no way of telling someone about what is to come in five years. Maybe it is quantum computing, or maybe a new era emphasising mental well-being, maybe biochemistry, or philosophy suddenly takes the centre stage at every endeavour.

Today, the market is shifting in an ever-increasing pace. It is easy to feel lost while navigating a career, looking for the best path to climb the ladder. Young professionals are essentially trying to be good enough to be relevant and even vital in 20-30 years. However, most of the buzz-worthy careers today were not even around 10 years ago, and so how can one be preparing for something 20 years down the line?

Here the author found a framework of thinking very helpful. It can be called "Be at the core or be at the edge" framework of thinking about jobs. Every company has some core functions that are time tested and relatively stable - maybe for some it is manufacturing, for some it is the sales, for others it is field management. These functions have well defined roles, hierarchy, and history to go alongside it. If someone is good at this core work, the job is more secured for him or her with little probability of unpredictable troubles. A clear hierarchy means the career will also have defined progression, although at a predictable pace, with only seniors' moving out or up and company growth ending upcreating new spaces.

On the other hand, there are the functions at the edge of the company. These are new things, maybe a new data section, maybe a digital marketing wing, or a small research team that is yet to make an impact on the work. At the edge there are people who are often keeping a low profile, but being flexible to take initiatives in creative and new directions. They are introducing new programmes, exploring sudden new flow of value or revenue. They can often be deemed unnecessary by more of the core people in the organisation.

However, since this is a time with the maximum pace of change in market landscape, the people at the edge have the best chance of adapting to a new reality and introduce the necessary function that take the company to the next level. This can suddenly make the edge people become the core people - or at least become a vital support function for the core to survive and thrive. Think of the way that Adobe stopped regular software sales in favour of subscription services, or how newspapers more and more emphasise on web version over print, how all the TV shows now work overtime on YouTube clips.

The people who are overstretched into their core function and their way of doing things, can become stiff and slow to look into the new avenues, as looking into anything outside - can understandably feel like a waste of time. Why would anyone need to stop doing what makes the most money and instead dabble into stuff that has no proven market? This thinking binds them away from dynamic learning possibilities. And then sudden changes are brought about by one company, and in the aftermath - the whole market begins to adapt, and quickly changes the old core people's position in the market hierarchy. Suddenly market demands one to learn new tricks to stay relevant in the secure place of years.

Very often though, there is no harm in digging deep into the core of the company. It can be a very safe bet, as most businesses may not change so dramatically.

But, to reduce the risk of suddenly being left irrelevant at the market, it is best that everyone needs to invest a portion of their time working on projects at the edge of their organisation, or at the edge of their skill set -- all throughout their career. This flexibility will keep them in touch with the changing tides, and make sure that they can ride the wave, or at least not be taken by surprise when the change finally comes.

This thinking works at any stage of life, when the author was a student, he did digital art for just fun, but ultimately it helped him land the first three part time jobs, having those skills was a bonus on top of the studies. He had friends whose outside interests into videography while studying computer science ended up shaping some of their whole career. In the author's office, he has seen a colleague's occasional contribution to a new initiative becoming 50 per cent of her duty in a year's time - leading to a promotion and recognition.

So, think again, at the office, are you at the core or at the edge? Why not both? Keep learning. Keep creating.

Radi Shafiq is a development professional and artist. He can be reached at

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Career navigation Be at the core or be at the edge - The Financial Express BD

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TensorFlow gets its quantum of solace, lid lifted on ‘all-seeing crime-detecting’ AI upstart, and more – The Register

Posted: March 17, 2020 at 5:44 am

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Roundup Here's a handy little roundup of all the bits of AI news that you may have missed.

Uh oh, another surveillance company has secretly been purloining data from social media: Banjo, the AI startup that believes its software can detect and surface crimes and other activities in real-time from all kinds of data feeds, also scraped information from peoples public social media profiles.

However, it wasnt as brazen as Clearview, the controversial upstart known for downloading over three billion photos from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and more to put together a massive dataset for facial recognition. Banjo apparently created a shadow company called Pink Unicorn Labs, according to Vice.

Pink Unicorn Labs went on to develop three apps directed at fans of things like the British boyband One Direction, EDM music, and Formula One racing. These apps asked users to connect and sign-in using their accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, FourSquare, as well as VK and Sina Weibo, commonly used in Russia and China. Linking the Pink Unicorn Labs Apps to peoples accounts makes it possible to scrape those netizens' data, such as images or location history.

Code across all the three apps contained links to Banjos website. Both companies were registered at the same address in Redwood City, California and headed by Banjos CEO Damien Patton.

Pink Unicorn Labs apps were removed from the Google Play Store in 2016. Even though data might be publicly posted on peoples accounts, scraping them to use for commercial purposes is against the terms of service of these platforms.

AI helps historians read messages carved on ancient bones: Researchers from Southwest University in China used a convolutional neural network to classify and read ancient scripts carved on bones dating back to more than 3,000 years between 1600 to 1046 BC.

The Chinese characters written in Yi script, the oldest examples show it was used in the Middle Kingdom from the 15th century. Studying these ancient texts is difficult; not only does it require extensive knowledge of the language and its history, but the messages imprinted on these bones are cracked and worn out over time.

Heres where the machine learning bit comes in. A convolutional neural network was trained on images of these texts where each character was labelled so it could recognize scripts carved on other types of bones, according to a paper published in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.

The researchers used a dataset consisting of 1,476 tortoise shell rubbings and 300 ox bone rubbings, from which they chose one-third as the test set and two-thirds as the training set. Experiment results show the proposed method reaches a level close to that of oracle experts, Synched explained this week.

As I said, classification is the first step,Shanxiong Chen, first author of the paper and an associate professor of computer and information science, told Synched.

This study specifically focused on telling between animal bones and tortoise shells, and were continuously working with Capital Normal Universitys Center for Oracle Bone Studies on further classifying different types of animal bones.

ICLR 2020 goes virtual: Tech conferences are dropping like flies amidst the current outbreak of the coronavirus. Now, the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), a top academic machine learning conference, has decided to cancel its physical event due to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next month.

Due to growing concerns about COVID-19, ICLR2020 will cancel its physical conference this year, instead shifting to a fully virtual conference, it announced this week. We were very excited to hold ICLR in Addis Ababa, and it is disappointing that we will not all be able to come together in person in April.

Organisers have called all academics with accepted papers to create a five minute video as presenting their work part of its virtual poster session. For those that were invited to give a talk, that video will be extended to 15 minutes and information should be conveyed in a series of slides. Workshops are a little trickier to put together; ICLR is currently contacting speakers to coordinate.

All registration fees and travel purchased for the conference will be reimbursed. Now, the price to attend the digital conference has dropped down to $50 for students and $100 for non-students.

New TensorFlow library! If youre bored at home and social distancing from all your friends, family, and colleagues then try this: TensorFlows latest library that allows you to build quantum AI models.

Your brain will probably turn to mush trying to understand and combine both quantum computing and machine learning. The library known as TensorFlow Quantum (TFQ) was built by folks over at Google, the University of Waterloo, X, and Volkswagen, to give developers tools to process data that could, theoretically, run on quantum computers.

We announce the release of TensorFlow Quantum (TFQ), an open-source library for the rapid prototyping of quantum ML models, the Chocolate Factory said this week. TFQ provides the tools necessary for bringing the quantum computing and machine learning research communities together to control and model natural or artificial quantum systems.

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TensorFlow gets its quantum of solace, lid lifted on 'all-seeing crime-detecting' AI upstart, and more - The Register

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What Is Quantum Computing, And How Can It Unlock Value For Businesses? – Computer Business Review

Posted: January 27, 2020 at 8:48 pm

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We are at an inflection point

Ever since Professor Alan Turing proposed the principle of the modern computer in 1936, computing has come a long way. While advancements to date have been promising, the future is even brighter, all thanks to quantum computing, which performs calculations based on the behaviour of particles at the sub-atomic level, writes Kalyan Kumar, CVP and CTO IT Services,HCL Technologies.

Quantum computing promises to unleash unimaginable computing power thats not only capable of addressing current computational limits, but unearthing new solutions to unsolved scientific and social mysteries. Whats more, thanks to increasing advancement since the 1980s, quantum computing can now drive some incredible social and business transformations.

Quantum computing holds immense promise in defining a positive, inclusive and human centric future, which is what theWEF Future Council on Quantum Computingenvisages. The most anticipated uses of quantum computing are driven by its potential to simulate quantum structures and behaviours across chemicals and materials. This promise is being seen guardedly by current scientists who claim quantum computing is still far from making a meaningful impact.

This said, quantum computing is expected to open amazing and much-needed possibilities in medical research. Drug development time, which usually takes more than 10 to 12 years with billions of dollars of investment, is expected to reduce considerably, alongside the potential to explore unique chemical compositions that may just be beyond the limits of current classical computing. Quantum computing can also help with more accurate weather forecasting, and provide accurate information that can help save tremendous amounts of agriculture production from damage.

Quantum computing promises a better and improved future, and while humans are poised to benefit greatly from this revolution, businesses too can expect unapparelled value.

When it comes to quantum computing, it can be said that much of the world is at the they dont know what they dont know stage. Proof points are appearing, and it is seemingly becoming clear that quantum computing solves problems that cannot be addressed by todays computers. Within transportation, for example, quantum computing is being used to develop battery and self-driving technologies, while Volkswagen has also been using quantum computing to match patterns and predict traffic conditions in advance, ensuring a smoother movement of traffic. In supply chains, logistics and trading are receiving a significant boost from the greater computing power and high-resolution modelling quantum computing provides, adding a huge amount of intelligence using new approaches to machine learning.

The possibilities for businesses are immense and go way beyond these examples mentioned above, in domains such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Yet a new approach is required. The companies that succeed in quantum computing will be those that create value chains to exploit the new insights, and form a management system to match the high-resolution view of the business that will emerge.

While there are some initial stage quantum devices already available, these are still far from what the world has been envisaging. Top multinational technology companies have been investing considerably in this field, but they still have some way to go. There has recently been talk of prototype quantum computers performing computations that would have previously taken 10,000 years in just 200 seconds. Though of course impressive, this is just one of the many steps needed to achieve the highest success in quantum computing.

It is vital to understand how and when we are going to adopt quantum computing, so we know the right time to act. The aforementioned prototype should be a wakeup call to early adopters who are seeking to find ways to create a durable competitive advantage. We even recently saw a business announcing its plans to make a prototype quantum computer available on its cloud, something we will all be able to buy or access some time from now. If organisations truly understand the value and applications of quantum computing, they will be able to create new products and services that nobody else has. However, productising and embedding quantum computing into products may take a little more time.

One important question arises from all this: are we witnessing the beginning of the end for classical computing? When looking at the facts, it seems not. With the advent of complete and practical quantum computers, were seeing a hybrid computing model emerging where digital binary computers will co-process and co-exist with quantum Qbit computers. The processing and resource sharing needs are expected to be optimised using real time analysis, where quantum takes over exponential computational tasks. To say the least, quantum computing is not about replacing digital computing, but about coexistence enabling composed computing that handles different tasks at the same time similar to humans having left and right brains for analytical and artistic dominance.

If one things for sure, its that we are at an inflection point, witnessing what could arguably be one of the most disruptive changes in human existence. Having a systematic and planned approach to adoption of quantum computing will not only take some of its mystery away, but reveal its true strategic value, helping us to know when and how to become part of this once in a lifetime revolution.

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January 27th, 2020 at 8:48 pm

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The End Of The Digital Revolution Is Coming: Here’s What’s Next – Innovation Excellence

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by Tom Koulopoulos

The next era of computing will stretch our minds into a spooky new world that were just starting to understand.

In 1946 the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or the ENIAC, was introduced. The worlds first commercial computer was intended to be used by the military to project the trajectory of missiles, doing in a few seconds what it would otherwise take a human mathematician about three days. Its 20,000 vacuum tubes (the glowing glass light bulb-like predecessors to the transistor) connected by 500,000 hand soldered wires were a marvel of human ingenuity and technology.

Imagine if it were possible to go back to the developers and users of that early marvel and make the case that in 70 years there would be ten billion computers worldwide and half of the worlds population would be walking around with computers 100,000,000 times as powerful as the ENIAC in their pants pockets.

Youd have been considered a lunatic!

I want you to keep that in mind as you resist the temptation to do the same to me because of what Im about to share.

Quantum Supremacy

Digital computers will soon reach the limits of demanding technologies such as AI. Consider just the impact of these two projection: by 2025 driverless cars alone may produce as much data as exists in the entire world today; fully digitizing every cell in the human body would exceed ten times all of the data stored globally today. In these and many more cases we need to find ways to deal with unprecedented amounts of data and complexity. Enter quantum computing.

Youve likely heard of quantum computing. Amazingly, its a concept as old as digital computers. However, you may have discounted it as a far off future thats about as relevant to your life as flying cars. Well, it may be time to reconsider. Quantum computing is progressing at a rate that is surprising even those who are building it.

Understanding what quantum computers are and how they work challenges much of what we know of not just computing, but the basics of how the physical world appears to operate. Quantum mechanics, the basis for quantum computing, describes the odd and non-intuitive way the universe operates at a sub-atomic level. Its part science, part theory, and part philosophy.

Classical digital computers use what are called bits, something most all of us are familiar with. A bit can be a one or a zero. Quantum computers use what are called qubits (quantum bits). A quibit can also be a one or a zero but it can also be an infinite number of possibilities in between the two. The thing about qubits is that while a digital bit is always either on (1) or off (0), a qubit is always in whats called a superposition state, neither on nor off.

Although its a rough analogy, think of a qubit as a spinning coin thats just been flipped in the dark. While its spinning is it heads or tails? Its at the same time both and neither until it stops spinning and we then shine a light on it. However, a binary bit is like a coin that has a switch to make it glow in the dark. If I asked you Is it glowing? there would only be two answers, yes or no, and those would not change as it spins.

Thats what a qubit is like when compared to a classical digital bit. A quibit does not have a state until you effectively shine a light on it, while a binary bit maintains its state until that state is manually or mechanically changed.

Dont get too hung up on that analogy because as you get deeper into the quantum world trying to use what we know of the physical world is always a very rough and ultimately flawed way to describe the way things operate at the quantum level of matter.

However, the difficulty in understanding how quantum computers works hasnt stopped their progress. Google engineers recently talked about how the quantum computers they are building are progressing so fast that that they may achieve the elusive goal of whats called quantum supremacy (the point at which quantum computers can exceed the ability of classical binary computer) within months. While that may be a bit of stretch, even conservative projections put us on a 5-year timeline for quantum supremacy.

Quantum vs Classical Computing

Quantum computers, which are built using these qubits, will not replace all classical digital computers, but they will become an indispensable part of how we use computers to model the world and to integrate artificial intelligence into our lives.

Quantum computing will be one of the most radical shifts in the history of science, likely outpacing any advances weve seen to date with prior technological revolutions, such as the advent of semiconductors. They will enable us to take on problems that would take even the most powerful classical supercomputers millions or even billions of years to solve. Thats not just because quantum computers are faster but because they can approach problem solving with massive parallelism using the qualities of how quantum particles behave.

The irony is that the same thing that makes quantum computers so difficult to understand, their harnessing of natures smallest particles, also gives them the ability to precisely simulate the biological world at its most detailed. This means that we can model everything from chemical reactions, to biology, to pharmaceuticals, to the inner workings of the universe, to the spread of pandemics, in ways that were simply impossible with classical computers.

A Higher Power

The reason for the all of the hype behind the rate at which quantum computers are evolving has to do with whats called doubly exponential growth.

The exponential growth that most of us are familiar with, and which is being talked about lately, refers to the classical doubling phenomenon. For example, Moores law, which projects the doubling in the density of transistors on a silicon chip every 18 months. Its hard to wrap our linear brains around exponential growth, but its nearly impossible to wrap them around doubly exponential growth.

Doubly exponential growth simply has no analog in the physical world. Doubly exponential growth means that you are raising a number to a power and then raising that to another power. It looks like this 510^10.

What this means is that while a binary computer can store 256 states with 8 bits (28), a quantum computer with eight qubits (recall that a qubit is the conceptual equivalent of a digital bit in a classical computer) can store 1077 bits of data! Thats a number with 77 zeros, or, to put it into perspective, scientists estimate that there are 1078 atoms in the entire visible universe.

Even Einstein had difficulty with entanglement calling it, spooky action at a distance.

By the way, just to further illustrate the point, if you add one more qubit the number of bits (or more precisely, states) that can be stored just jumped to 10154 (one more bit in a classical computer would only raise the capacity to 1078).

Heres whats really mind blowing about quantum computing (as if what we just described isnt already mind-blowing enough.) A single caffeine molecule is made up of 24 atoms and it can have 1048 quantum states (there are only 1050 atoms that make up the Earth). Modeling caffeine precisely is simply not possible with classical computers. Using the worlds fastest super computer it would take 100,000,000,000,000 times the age of the universe to process the 1048 calculations that represent all of the possible states of a caffeine molecule!

So, the obvious question is, How could any computer, quantum or otherwise, take on something of that magnitude? Well, how does nature do it? That cup of coffee youre drinking has trillions of caffeine molecules and nature is doing just fine handling all of the quantum states they are in. Since nature is a quantum machine what better way to model it than a quantum computer?

Spooky Action

The other aspect of quantum computing that challenges our understanding of how the quantum world works is whats called entanglement. Entanglement describes a phenomenon in which two quantum particles are connected in such a way that no matter how great the distance between them they will both have the same state when they are measured.

At first blush that doesnt seem to be all that novel. After all, if I were to paint two balls red and then separate them by the distance of the universe, both would still be red. However, the state of a quantum object is always in whats called a superposition, meaning that it has no inherent state. Think of our coin flip example from earlier where the coin is in a superposition state until it stops spinning.

If instead of a color its two states were up or down it would always be in both states while also in neither state, that is until an observation or measurement forces it to pick a state. Again, think back to the spinning coin.

Now imagine two coins entangled and flipped simultaneously at different ends of the universe. Once you stop the spin of one coin and reveal that its heads the other coin would instantly stop spinning and also be heads.

If this makes your head hurt, youre in good company. Even Einstein had difficulty with entanglement calling it, spooky action at a distance. His concern was that the two objects couldnt communicate at a speed faster than the speed of light. Whats especially spooky about this phenomenon is that the two objects arent communicating at all in any classical sense of the term communication.

Entanglement creates the potential for all sorts of advances in computing, from how we create 100 percent secure communications against cyberthreats, to the ultimate possibility of teleportation.

Room For Possibility

So, should you run out a buy a quantum computer? Well, its not that easy. Qubits need to be super cooled and are exceptionally finicky particles that require an enormous room-sized apparatus and overhead. Not unlike the ENIAC once did.

You can however use a quantum computer for free or lease its use for more sophisticated applications For example, IBMs Q, is available both as an open source learning environment for anyone as well as a powerful tool for fintech users. However, Ill warn you that even if youre accustomed to programming computers, it will still feel as though youre teaching yourself to think in an entirely foreign language.

The truth is that we might as well be surrounded by 20,000 glowing vacuum tubes and 500,000 hand soldered wires. We can barely imagine what the impact of quantum computing will be in ten to twenty years. No more so than the early users of the ENIAC could have predicted the mind-boggling ways in which we use digital computers today.

Listen in to my two podcasts with scientists from IBM, MIT, and Harvard to find out more about quantum computing. Quantum Computing Part I, Quantum Computing Part II

This article was originally published on Inc.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Tom Koulopoulos is the author of 10 books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc. 500 company that focuses on innovation and the future of business. He tweets from @tkspeaks.

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The End Of The Digital Revolution Is Coming: Here's What's Next - Innovation Excellence

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January 27th, 2020 at 8:48 pm

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Delta Partners with IBM to Explore Quantum Computing – Database Trends and Applications

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Jan 23, 2020

Delta Air Lines is embarking on a multi-year collaborative effort with IBM including joining theIBM Q Networkto explore the potential capabilities of quantum computing to transform experiences for customers and employees.

"Partnering with innovative companies like IBM is one way Delta stays on the leading edge of tech to better serve our customers and our people, while drawing the blueprints for application across our industry," saidRahul Samant, Delta's CIO. "We've done this most recently with biometrics in our international terminals and we're excited to explore how quantum computing can be applied to address challenges across the day of travel."

TheIBM Q Network is a global community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications.

Additionally, through theIBM Q Hub at NC State University, Delta will have access to the IBM Q Network's fleet of universal hardware quantum computersfor commercial use cases and fundamental research, including the recently-announced 53-qubit quantum computer, which, the company says, has the most qubits of a universal quantum computer available for external access in the industry, to date.

"We are very excited by the addition of Delta to our list of collaborators working with us on building practical quantum computing applications," said director of IBM ResearchDario Gil. "IBM's focus, since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, has been to move quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments conducted by a handful of organizations, into the hands of tens of thousands of users. We believe a clear advantage will be awarded to early adopters in the era of quantum computing and with partners like Delta, we're already making significant progress on that mission."

For more information about the IBM Q Network, go to

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Quantum networking projected to be $5.5 billion market in 2025 – TechRepublic

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Several companies are working to advance the technology, according to a new report.

The market for quantum networking is projected to reach $5.5 billion by 2025, according to a new report from Inside Quantum Technology (IQT).

While all computing systems rely on the ability to store and manipulate information in individual bits, quantum computers "leverage quantum mechanical phenomena to manipulate information" and to do so requires the use of quantum bits, or qubits, according to IBM.

SEE:Quantum computing: An insider's guide (TechRepublic)

Quantum computing is seen as the panacea for solving the problems computers are not equipped to handle now.

"For problems above a certain size and complexity, we don't have enough computational power on earth to tackle them,'' IBM said. This requires a new kind of computing, and this is where quantum comes in.

IQT says that quantum networking revenue comes primarily from quantum key distribution (QK), quantum cloud computing, and quantum sensor networks. Eventually, these strands will merge into a Quantum Internet, the report said.

Cloud access to quantum computers is core to the business models of many leading quantum computer companiessuch as IBM, Microsoft and Rigettias well as several leading academic institutions, according to the report.

Microsoft, for instance, designed a special programming language for quantum computers, called Q#, and released a Quantum Development Kit to help programmers create new applications, according to CBInsights.

One of Google's quantum computing projects involves working with NASA to apply the tech's optimization abilities to space travel.

The Quantum Internet network will have the same "geographical breadth of coverage as today's internet," the IQT report stated.

It will provide a powerful platform for communications among quantum computers and other quantum devices, the report said.

And will enable a quantum version of the Internet of Things. "Finally, quantum networks can be the most secure networks ever built completely invulnerable if constructed properly," the report said.

The report, "Quantum Networks: A Ten-Year Forecast and Opportunity Analysis," forecasts demand for quantum network equipment, software and services in both volume and value terms.

"The time has come when the rapidly developing quantum technology industry needs to quantify the opportunities coming out of quantum networking," said Lawrence Gasman, president of Inside Quantum Technology, in a statement.

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) adds unbreakable coding of key distribution to public key encryption, making it virtually invulnerable, according to the report.

QKD is the first significant revenue source to come from the emerging Quantum Internet and will create almost $150 million in revenue in 2020, the report said.

QKD's early success is due to potential usersbig financial and government organizationshave an immediate need for 100% secure encryption, the IQT report stated.

By 2025, IQT projects that revenue from "quantum clouds" are expected to exceed $2 billion.

Although some large research and government organizations are buying quantum computers for on-premise use, the high cost of the machines coupled with the immaturity of the technology means that the majority of quantum users are accessing quantum through clouds, the report explained.

Quantum sensor networks promise enhanced navigation and positioning and more sensitive medical imaging modalities, among other use cases, the report said.

"This is a very diverse area in terms of both the range of applications and the maturity of the technology."

However, by 2025 revenue from quantum sensors is expected to reach about $1.2 billion.

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Quantum networking projected to be $5.5 billion market in 2025 - TechRepublic

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January 27th, 2020 at 8:48 pm

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University of Sheffield launches Quantum centre to develop the technologies of tomorrow – Quantaneo, the Quantum Computing Source

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A new research centre with the potential to revolutionise computing, communication, sensing and imaging technologies is set to be launched by the University of Sheffield this week (22 January 2020).

The Sheffield Quantum Centre, which will be officially opened by Lord Jim ONeill, Chair of Chatham House and University of Sheffield alumnus, is bringing together more than 70 of the Universitys leading scientists and engineers to develop new quantum technologies.

Quantum technologies are a broad range of new materials, devices and information technology protocols in physics and engineering. They promise unprecedented capabilities and performance by exploiting phenomena that cannot be explained by classical physics.

Quantum technologies could lead to the development of more secure communications technologies and computers that can solve problems far beyond the capabilities of existing computers.

Research into quantum technologies is a high priority for the UK and many countries around the world. The UK government has invested heavily in quantum research as part of a national programme and has committed 1 billion in funding over 10 years.

Led by the Universitys Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Department of Computer Science, the Sheffield Quantum Centre will join a group of northern universities that are playing a significant role in the development of quantum technologies.

The University of Sheffield has a strong presence in quantum research with world leading capabilities in crystal growth, nanometre scale device fabrication and device physics research. A spin-out company has already been formed to help commercialise research, with another in preparation.

Professor Maurice Skolnick, Director of the Sheffield Quantum Centre, said: The University of Sheffield already has very considerable strengths in the highly topical area of quantum science and technology. I have strong expectation that the newly formed centre will bring together these diverse strengths to maximise their impact, both internally and more widely across UK universities and funding bodies.

During the opening ceremony, the Sheffield Quantum Centre will also launch its new 2.1 million Quantum Technology Capital equipment.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the equipment is a molecular beam epitaxy cluster tool designed to grow very high quality wafers of semiconductor materials types of materials that have numerous everyday applications such as in mobile phones and lasers that drive the internet.

The semiconductor materials also have many new quantum applications which researchers are focusing on developing.

Professor Jon Heffernan from the Universitys Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, added: The University of Sheffield has a 40-year history of pioneering developments in semiconductor science and technology and is host to the National Epitaxy Facility. With the addition of this new quantum technologies equipment I am confident our new research centre will lead to many new and exciting technological opportunities that can exploit the strange but powerful concepts from quantum science.

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University of Sheffield launches Quantum centre to develop the technologies of tomorrow - Quantaneo, the Quantum Computing Source

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5G, AI and Quantum Computing: Who Knows Where It Will All Lead? – Planet Vending

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5G, AI and Quantum Computing

2020 Vision, as seen by Craig Jukes, Sales Director, Evoca UK

Theres a road map for Evoca as we enter a new decade and its all about meeting the expectations of the customer. The future is all about personalisation for the end-user. That can be anything from the way a machine looks and feels to the way a consumer pays. Their outlook now is I want to pay the way I want to pay, not the way you want me to pay and that can be anything: debit, credit, watch embedded chip whatever the future may bring. It means that our machines will have to be smarter more dynamic to accommodate that trend.

The combination of 5G, AI and Quantum Computing will be a massive game-changer that cant be overstated. In the future, everything will be based on an algorithm. The machine will know your drinking behaviour, what your favourite drinks are. Through your interaction with it, the machine will learn about you. Itll recognise where youre looking on the screen and respond accordingly.

5G, AI and Quantum Computing is not the fantasy stuff of Space 1999, which I used to watch as a kid; this is technology that is available now. The Chinese and the Americans already have quantum computing. The implications of this are mind-boggling, which is why it has a fear factor in the eyes of governments, banks, security organisations and the like. The things that we do now in order to keep us safe on the internet, including complicated passwords formed of all sorts of character numbers and symbols, will be useless in the face of the new technology.

In our world of vending, it will mean we can create new machines that interact with consumers on a far deeper level. The machine will recognise you as you approach it. It will recognise your buying behaviour to the extent that itll know what you want before you have the chance to choose. Its all about algorithms of choice, about learning the habits of each and every individual that uses the machine.

Vending machine menus will be dynamic, in that theyll adjust to the purchasing history of individual locations. For instance, if the drink of choice in any given place is a cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles, then thats the drink that will be the most prominent on the menu and the machine will promote it as the drink of choice. It will work in exactly the same way with snacks and other products that can be sold from a machine.

So, in a nutshell, the combination of 5G, AI and Quantum Computing will allow us to create machines that know what consumers want before they make their purchases.

I think that we at Evoca have available the best machines on the market, but our dedicated R&D department is already beginning to open up the possibilities that are incumbent in this New World.

In this New World, interaction between people in a retail environment will become a thing of the past. People will walk into a store and thanks to RFID and their Apple Pay account, (other methods are available!), theyll be able to choose what they want and leave without talking to anybody, in the knowledge that payment has been made automatically.

The downside of 5G, AI and Quantum Computing is of course that so many jobs that people are doing today will become redundant. Were already experiencing this in supermarkets, where theres no real need for a person to sit at a till, scan your items and facilitate payment.

The vending machines we make will change accordingly. The way we attract consumers will change, the way we serve consumers will change and the way we reward consumers will change.

Who knows where this will lead? In ten years time, a drone might be delivering coffee to your desk

More information? The Evoca web site is HERE More Evoca news on Planet Vending, HERE

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5G, AI and Quantum Computing: Who Knows Where It Will All Lead? - Planet Vending

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January 27th, 2020 at 8:48 pm

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