ANU launches quantum-powered random number generator on AWS Marketplace

By Sandra Helsel posted 26 Apr 2022

(ZDNet) Aimee Chanthadavong, Senior Journalist, writes here about the Australian National University (ANU) announcement about the ANU Quantum Numbers (AQN) online random number generator’s launch on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. IQT-News summarizes the article that explains ANU’s move to scale the service and make it available to more than 310,000 active AWS customers.
According to ANU, AQN uses quantum technology to generate true random numbers at high speed and in real-time by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum. “Quantum physics practically provides an infinite source of truly random numbers. These quantum random numbers are guaranteed by the laws of physics to be unpredictable and unbiased,” AQN team leader Professor Ping Koy Lam said.
Under the free tier of the service, anyone online can create an API key to make up to 100 requests a month to the AQN API. However, by launching AQN on AWS Marketplace, AWS customers can make unlimited requests and be charged for each request they make.
AQN has been operating out of a lab on campus for the last 10 years, ANU said. It added that the university has received more than two billion requests for random numbers from 70 countries for the purpose of clinical trials, simulating processes and events in computer games, generating secure passwords, simulating virus outbreak behaviours, and predicting the weather.
“Random numbers are needed in IT, data science, and modelling. Without random numbers you can’t have reliable models for forecasting and research simulation,” said Dr Syed Assad, one of the researchers behind AQN. “But they are also used by artists to help with removing human biases from their creative work. In computer gaming and smart contracts, true random numbers are also an indispensable resource.”

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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