Quantum News Briefs April 11: Chicago’s quantum science market is poised for growth despite a down market, Quantum techniques could bring Generative AI to the enterprise, Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA) is Advancing Quantum Computing + MORE
Quantum News Briefs April 11: Chicago’s quantum science market is poised for growth despite a down market, Quantum techniques could bring Generative AI to the enterprise, Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA) is Advancing Quantum Computing + MORE.
Chicago’s quantum science market is poised for growth despite a down market
Chicago has all of the ingredients to be the center of the quantum industry, says Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of the quantum science program at the Fermilab Quantum Institute, in a recent article.”We have a lot of tech that we’re developing here, we have a lot of expertise, we have two national labs, we have strong universities, and we have demonstrated capabilities,” he says. Quantum News Briefs summarizes the article from Chicago BizJournals discussing Chicago’s quantum business future.
Fermilab is a member of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, alongside the University of Chicago, Argonne National Lab and Northwestern University, among others.
Spentzouris said that quantum startups weren’t immune to the venture capital pullback that hit most sectors last year, he thinks that as people’s understanding of quantum computing has grown, it’s made the pitching process a little bit easier for startups — a process he’s had personal experience dealing with. “People are better-educated and have a better clue what works,” he said.
He’s helped stand up startups related to quantum algorithms and computing, and while he said it’s not “an impressive number,” it was zero before and he sees more activity and momentum in the market.
Chicago is also home to the first accelerator program in the country that’s dedicated to startups focused on quantum science and technology, Duality, which this week announced a new director to lead the initiative. “Eze” Burts III was named to the role, joining the University of Chicago’s quantum startup accelerator after a 20-year career with Boeing.
The 12-month program was launched in April 2021 to provide early-stage startups with business education, funding, mentorship, industry connections, work space and access to world-class facilities.
“The founders in Duality’s first, second and soon-to-be third cohorts are building the most promising early-stage quantum companies that will create thousands of jobs for next-generation STEM leaders all over the globe,” he said in an introductory interview.
Since its launch in 2021, Duality has supported 11 startups from across the globe that are developing software and hardware technologies for quantum computing, communications and sensing. Click here to read the April 5 Chicago BizJournal article in-entirety.
Quantum techniques could bring Generative AI to the enterprise
Christopher Savoie, PhD, the CEO & founder of Zapata Computing, is the author of an April 10 Forbes article in which he describes how quantum-inspired techniques could bring Generative AI tools to the market.
Generative AI tools have the potential to transform entire industries. But all that potential value comes at a steep cost. The more complex the generative model, the more expensive the required compute resources. ChatGPT itself costs $100,000 a day to run, while Google’s ChatGPT competitor, Bard, will reportedly cost the company 10 times more per query than a standard keyword search. The environmental costs of this excessive compute consumption will no doubt be just as steep, and this doesn’t include the high costs of training such a complex model, the learning curve to understand new mathematical formulations, or the need to develop specialized expertise in the tooling and infrastructure to make these solutions work.
To truly start the generative AI revolution for enterprise applications, the costs need to come down significantly.
Techniques inspired by quantum physics could have the potential to reduce the computational costs for large language models (LLMs). What’s more, these quantum-inspired techniques could broaden the use cases of generative AI for enterprises—particularly in solving complex optimization problems.
The quantum-inspired techniques we’re concerned with here are tensor networks—essentially, efficient linear algebraic structures for representing complex correlations between variables.
Tensor networks could potentially play a critical role in the development of quantum computing: They can simulate quantum circuits on classical hardware today and could be replaced with real quantum circuits in the future. Thus, tensor networks could allow users to start developing “quantum applications” on classical hardware that can run on the fault-tolerant quantum computers of the future. This would allow enterprises to develop capabilities that could be useful once we have fault-tolerant or strongly error-mitigated quantum computers.
Not only can tensor networks compress generative models, but the resulting tensorized generative models could also generate higher-quality samples. This could have major implications for enterprise applications of generative AI. Click here to read Savoi’s article in-entirety.
Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA) is Advancing Quantum Computing
The Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA) has made major advances in both hardware and programming since its inception in 2020 and has improved the quantum tools that researchers hope will help solve some of humanity’s biggest questions.
QSA is one of the Department of Energy’s five national quantum information science research centers with a focus on all three major technologies for quantum computing: superconducting circuits, trapped-ion systems, and neutral atoms.
“We believe there are synergies between these three big technologies and that each one may have unique abilities and applications for solving different kinds of problems,” said Rick Muller, the director of QSA and a senior manager at Sandia National Laboratories. “By looking at all three of them together, we can more easily find their strengths, apply innovations across technologies, and design a path forward to a universal quantum computer.”
Led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), QSA brings together more than 250 experts from 14 other institutions: Sandia National Laboratories, University of Colorado Boulder, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Caltech, Duke University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, UC Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, and Canada’s Université de Sherbrooke.
Together, QSA researchers are developing ways to better control qubits (the building blocks of quantum computers), finding algorithms and applications for current and emerging quantum information systems, and speeding their transfer to industry. QSA is also preparing the next generation of quantum scientists through activities, including peer mentoring programs, career fairs, and training for high school students and teachers.
In March, the Quantum Systems Accelerator issued a full impact report on advances made since the center launched in 2020.
Riken launches Quantum-HPC Hybrid Platform Division
RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) has announced the launch a new division named “Quantum-HPC Hybrid Platform Division.”
RIKEN is carrying out a project of the Transformative Research Innovation Platform of RIKEN platforms (TRIP) as a cross-disciplinary project. In this project, quantum computational technologies are expected to present the opportunity to tackle several problems that are currently infeasible to solve with supercomputers.
In order to make practical use of quantum computing, high performance computing is required to be integrated with quantum computers. This division conducts the research and development of the quantum HPC hybrid computing platform and its system software for the integration of quantum computational technologies with high-end supercomputers.
To learn more about R-CCS’s Quantum-HPC Hybrid Platform Division, click here.
As a world-class research center in the field of high-performance computational science, R-CCS manages and operates supercomputer Fugaku, which began shared use in March 2021. R-CCS provides systems that contribute to solving social and scientific issues and also accelerate new IT fields such as big data and artificial intelligence.
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.