Quantum Computing: The Advantages of Being Prepared | Technology
|Quantum Computing: The Advantages of Being Prepared | Technology|
Being Quantum Ready Has These Benefits
Quantum computing could bring benefits to industries such as pharmaceuticals, renewable energy development, finance and manufacturing.
However, to take full advantage of this technology, we need to focus on quantitative education and human resource development.
Although some courses have been introduced for students and a small number of staff, more work is needed to achieve the "number advantage".
Why is it necessary for education to take a quantum leap?
Quantum computing technology is maturing rapidly and we are on the verge of a technological revolution. Quantum computers use qubits instead of ordinary binary numbers or qubits. While the value of a bit in our current electronics may be either 0 or 1, a qubit can have both.
Because of this property, among other things, quantum computers can perform faster and more accurate calculations than conventional computers. That means they must be particularly good at tasks that rely on probability and optimization, such as creating a new complex molecule to engineer components with specific properties. Atoms can have different configurations to form a molecule, and it can be difficult to find the right one. Quantum computers can quickly go through all possibilities to narrow down potential candidates.
The ability to create extremely fast and accurate molecular simulations makes quantum computing an important next-generation tool for accelerating the discovery of new substances, from new drugs to solar panels to polymers. In fact, these machines should be able to achieve so-called "quantum superiority" within a few years, meaning they will outperform conventional computers at a practical task.
But the question is, will the world be ready for these machines once they get this far? Do companies know how quantum computers can help them? Can Computer Science Graduates Build Quantum Algorithms? Will the necessary infrastructure be built to support hundreds or even thousands of these new machines?
None of these questions will be answered if we are to make a qualitative leap in a few years. Our quantitative journey has only just begun. When the world starts to rely on these machines, people will no longer need to understand quantum programming. Just choose the right algorithm from the Quantum Apps Library and it will run its Quantum Magic in the background.
But this is the future. To achieve this, we must empower the world in numbers with a focus on education and human development.
Quantum High School and beyond
Today's kids should learn about quantum computing in their high school education. Before deciding on their career paths, young people need to understand what role this emerging technology can play in industries such as materials research, drug development, finance, space exploration and even next-generation smartphone manufacturing.
After high school, quantum computing education should be more diverse than it is today. To ensure we develop enough talent to develop new quantum algorithms and develop software and hardware, we must offer our quantum computing courses to a wide range of students, apprentices and students pursuing other minor certificates and certificates. We need to encourage businesses and organizations to empower more quantitative workers today.
Efforts are already underway to train students and existing staff, but more needs to be done. For example, many universities around the world do not offer quantitative programming courses. This learning gap could seriously hinder the development of a quantum-capable workforce.
The U.S. government has launched an initiative to attract high school students to study quantum computing and quantum computing. The Q-12 National Education Partnership brings together 15 leading quantum engines from industry and academia. The initiative is supported by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The latter has committed nearly $1 million to various educational efforts in quantum information science (QIS), including bringing QIS resources into the classroom, including the Q2Work program.
While there are only a handful of quantum computers in the world — including an IBM system in Tokyo, Germany, and soon Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. — they are all accessible via the cloud. This means that anyone in academia or industry anywhere in the world can use a quantum computer to learn the basics of quantum programming.
For example, IBM has a number of quantum-focused educational programs, including quantum computing, classroom assistance, summer school and hackathon visits. This includes Qubit's Kiskit and Qubit roles in partnership with Quantum Computing, and the Quantum Educators program in partnership with the Coding Academy, which gives teachers and students cloud access to IBM Quantum systems.
These efforts are important. Schools and universities around the world need to work together to bridge the quantum education gap and develop the next generation of talent during the quantum cycle of adolescence.
Building a quantum-capable workforce
In adult education, few companies are currently investing in understanding quantum technologies. Given the advantages quantum computing can bring to companies, many should follow suit — whether it's a pharmaceutical giant looking for new medicines, or a renewable energy company trying to make more efficient materials for solar panels.
Quantum computers should offer many possibilities, especially when it comes to finding the best option among the many—think billions of configurations for new molecules.
That is the future, but today's research will get us there soon. For the world to truly realize the full potential of quantum computing, we need to focus on quantitative education and human resource development. We must do this now.