How fast is quantum computing? By some estimates, quantum computers may be 158 million times faster than the fastest current supercomputer. Many of us may think such power is destined to be a tool used solely for complex scientific calculations, but it may soon play a significant role in functions and industries that impact our everyday lives. Further, while quantum technology could play a tremendous role in improving everything from human health to energy exploration, in unscrupulous hands, our increasingly digital work and personal lives could be at added risk.
Tech experts are clear: The time to prepare for the impacts of quantum computing (both good and bad) is now. Below, 12 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss some of the industries and focuses that could soon be revolutionized by quantum computing.
Quantum computing is set to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry, enabling drug and vaccine discovery in days instead of years. What happens when a drug interacts with the human body? Scientists today rely on lab experiments to find these answers. In the next decade, you won’t need to go to the lab to find the right medication for the right pathogen—you’ll simulate it on a quantum computer. - Yehuda Naveh, Classiq Technologies
Cyberattacks have become too common, and better security is clearly needed. Now, quantum computing makes most, if not all, crypto algorithms vulnerable, as they can easily be broken in a shorter time due to the power of quantum computers. This requires completely new post-quantum crypto algorithms to form a new backbone for security systems, especially in crypto-based finance (among other sectors). - Raj Yavatkar, Juniper Networks
3. Marketing And Advertising
The power of quantum computing is especially helpful in simulation, prediction and optimization scenarios. Very few marketing teams leverage these approaches, in part because the options and choices are too vast for current computing. Simulating the various ways to invest marketing dollars and optimize the impact will be game-changing for data-driven marketers. - Neerav Vyas, Capgemini
4. AI Training
One of the most promising areas that can be affected by quantum computing is the development of artificial intelligence systems. AI works with huge amounts of data, and inaccuracies in training neural networks lead to significant errors. Quantum computers can improve learning and interpretation algorithms. But AI, in turn, is already affecting a huge number of industries. - Ivan Shkvarun, Social Links
5. Financial Services/Investing
Quantum may just be emerging from labs, but it has the potential to cause innovative disruption sooner than businesses think. Through its enhanced AI and ML, quantum will revolutionize financial services by delivering a stronger prediction of trading signals in global markets—helping investors to build resilient portfolios—and by assessing the environmental risks that are key to making sustainable finance decisions. - Jeff Wong, EY
6. Logistics/Supply Chain Management
Industries in which optimization technology is currently in use will see a huge uptick in performance with the advent of quantum computing. Logistics and supply chain activities can be so data-heavy that ultra-complex optimization algorithms are impractical, and this is where quantum computing should provide a step change. - Eamonn Barrett, Remi AI
The most beneficial impact of quantum computing on human life may be in healthcare. Better internal imaging simulations will detect and diagnose the early stages of cancer and other diseases. Caregivers can access complete data on their patients’ medical history, reactions to medicines and so on. And quantum computing could be used to simulate the effects of new drugs on people instead of having to conduct unprecedented, risky drug trials. - Yasin Altaf, GoodCore Software
8. National Security
Quantum computing has the potential to play a crucial role in national security—indeed, many countries’ governments are pouring money into quantum computing research projects, in part to improve security. Quantum computers can be used for defense in many ways, such as deciphering espionage codes, simulating battles and developing superior materials for military vehicles. - Chintan Shah, Brainvire InfoTech Inc.
9. New Materials Development
New material simulation—and, possibly, development—is one of the most direct and important applications of quantum computing. Once developed, quantum computers will be able to assist scientists in their work on materials that follow quantum, but not traditional, material science laws. This, in turn, could lead to breakthroughs in the space, agriculture, military and medical industries. - Aleks Farseev, SoMin.ai
E-sports and gaming could be revolutionized by quantum computing. This is already a multibillion-dollar industry in which multiple teams of players compete in a complex environment with multifactored characters. Quantum computing could provide the intelligence to assess situations, anticipate outcomes, weight actions and direct gameplay in ways that will revolutionize player performance. - Mark Francis, Electronic Caregiver
11. Real Estate
While quantum computing is still a relatively new concept, I already hear talk of it in the real estate industry. Models based on quantum computing can find use in predicting property prices, mortgage interest rates, housing demand and other trends in the residential and commercial real estate markets for the benefit of homeowners, agents and brokers, lenders, investors, and everyone else. - Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor
12. Oil And Gas
Quantum computing could revolutionize the oil and gas industry by revolutionizing drilling techniques themselves. Currently, most drilling techniques involve using water pressure to break through rock layers deep underground, but with quantum computing, drillers could one day use lasers instead, making it easier for them to discover new oil reserves much faster than before and without causing excessive damage. - Leon Gordon, Pomerol Partners