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A 2019 Retrospective on Quantum Computing from Michael Biercuk, Founder & CEO of Q-CTRL

By IQT News posted 01 Jan 2020

(AppDevelopmentMagazine) Michael Biercuk, founder and CEO of Q-CTRL, shares his thoughts on the year in quantum computing and predictions for next year below in this article.
A summary of Biercuk’s points:
–The most surprising aspect of 2019 for the quantum computing industry: “It’s been surprising to me to see the beginnings of a contraction in investment in the sector. There is no doubt that startups like Q-CTRL and others have managed to secure substantial investment from top-tier VCs, but overall the landscape has become more challenging. It has been disappointing to see some high-quality teams struggle with fundraising when their efforts are so exceptionally strong.”
–The biggest technology and business challenges that quantum computing faced: “Noise and error in quantum hardware remain the critical limitations of quantum computing hardware, and can even be described as the Achilles heel of the technology.”
–The most significant industry accomplishments: “I think there is no doubt that the demonstration of quantum supremacy ranks as not only the most significant industry accomplishment of the year but of the field to date.”
–Interest in the technology will grow from investors and enterprise: “The demonstration of quantum supremacy is highly likely to drive major attention towards the field, and shift the perspectives of those investors and potential end-users who have remained on the sidelines until now.
–The potential downsides for the future: “The downsides will not bimmediate but may have their roots in developments this coming year. First, we want to ensure that the successes seen in 2019 don’t lead to divestment from basic research in the field. We need a well-funded academic research sector as much as industrial activity at scale. Next, we need to ensure that the field remains open and globally engaged. Poorly crafted and nationalistic export controls could seriously damage progress in the field. Finally, it’s essential that we ensure that in the wake of quantum supremacy – and the inevitable debates around it – that we don’t allow irrational exuberance to mask the fact that quantum computing remains the deepest of deep tech, and useful applications remain some years away.”

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