Anderson: The long road to quantum
(InformationWeek) Dana Anderson, A quantum pioneer reflects on his quantum startup days in the 2000s and discusses how the power of quantum is being applied today and where it has yet to go. Inside Quantum Technology summarizes.
Anderson explains that while “International cooperation among academic researchers is taken practically for granted,” the recent cooperation between governments to develop quantum technology means not only the development of quantum will be global but so will its impact. Anderson, who is now Director of the Quantum Applied Science and Engineering, CU Boulder writes of his cohort who founded quantum startups in the 2000s and thought the value of our endeavor would be seen just around the corner; maybe five years distant. The startups that I knew of emerged as spin-offs from universities, built upon stunning scientific achievements made in the 1980s and 90s.
Surely, he remembers, ,”the demand for quantum products would rise rapidly as the significance of the technology and its practical applications were recognized”.
In hindsight, it took a long time for the quantum landscape to change, but then rapidly change it did. The US establishing its National Quantum Initiative Act at the end of 2018. Our newest achievement between the UK and US is a testament to the commitment and shared vision of these two countries.
Anderson says, :I believe quantum technology is beginning to hit its stride after years of slow growth. He points out that customers are now asking when they can purchase a shiny new quantum computer for their data center. And enterprises want to understand how quantum can be used to take classical computing applications to entirely new levels, while an optimistic emerging community is counting on new use cases that have yet to be discovered for quantum.
Are we there yet with quantum? No, we are not. In my view, the best way to power quantum innovation is to provide the power to innovate over the cloud.
Anderson concludes: Looking back over the last few decades, to say that those of us who were pursing quantum technology early on were naïve is an understatement. Quantum science was difficult back then and it remains so. Somehow it seemed we were moving very fast, but the road has proved to be very long, and the travel time has seemed to approach eternity. The progress of quantum science and technology should be accelerated, and it can be, through the power of cloud access to a broad spectrum of quantum hardware.