**The Future of Quantum Computing: Reflections Based on Forbes Technology Council Quantum Computing Group’s events, panels, and polls**

It has been a year since the Forbes Technology Council (FTC) quantum computing (QC) group launched. As its leader, I take the opportunity to reflect on the developments in the quantum computing industry, some aspects of an envisioned future, and roads to get there in the context of some of the events, polls, and expert panels conducted within the group over the last year.

## General Quantum Computing Developments in the Last Year*

Over the past year, the quantum computing industry has made significant strides. On the hardware front, we’ve seen increased qubit counts, advancements in logical qubits, improved error correction techniques, and innovative approaches to developing modular, scalable architectures. There is growing recognition of the necessity for hybrid systems that combine classical and quantum computing. Algorithmic advancements include post-quantum cryptography and the development of quantum algorithms for material science, finance, drug discovery, and optimization. In software, there have been developments in full-stack quantum software and methods to gauge quantum processor performance. The general ecosystem has expanded with increased cloud access to quantum computing and numerous collaborations.

But the road to scalable, gate-based, quantum computers that do useful things is long and fraught with obstacles, as indicated by pieces such as IEEE Spectrum’s Quantum Computing’s Hard, Cold Reality Check.

FTCQC members responding to the following poll — “What is your take on how close we are to revolutionary quantum computing applications?” — also seemed to express a similar sentiment:

## The Future

Nonetheless, optimism about the future of quantum computing is high. The FTCQC group participated in two expert panels on this topic.

The first, *Seven Revolutionary Applications For Quantum Computing That Leaders Should Consider *focuses more on the relatively near-term:

Quantum computing holds significant promise across various fields. It can reduce the carbon footprint by fine-tuning large language models, thereby minimizing processing power and time and being more eco-friendly. Optical atomic clocks can enhance throughput for distributed data workloads and improve spectrum utilization for telecommunications, while quantum sensors aid navigation in GPS-denied areas. Quantum annealer technology can optimize product roadmaps, sales territories, and pricing structures. Specialized algorithms for optimization and machine learning are crucial as quantum technology advances. Additionally, transitioning to quantum-safe algorithms is vital to protect against threats to RSA encryption. Quantum computing can also ease urban traffic congestion through real-time optimization and enhance supply chain management by solving complex optimization problems, leading to cost reductions and improved efficiency.

This expert panel can be accessed here:

The second, *Six Ground-Breaking Industries Quantum Computing Is Projected To Revolutionize*, focuses more on the relatively long-term:

Quantum computing is poised to revolutionize numerous sectors, driving profound societal advancements. In agri-tech, it will transform fertilizer production, increasing crop yields and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Networking will evolve with distributed applications and AI, while quantum security measures will mitigate the heightened attack surface. Weather modeling will benefit from faster, more accurate forecasts through quantum algorithms and AI, improving disaster preparedness and agricultural planning. Drug discovery will accelerate with precise molecular simulations, speeding up the development of life-saving medications. Quantum computing will deepen our understanding of black holes and quantum gravity. It will also continue transforming data security by creating stronger encryption techniques to counter sophisticated cyber threats.

The expert panel can be accessed here:

## The Road to Get There

While the quantum computing industry promises to change the future for the good of all, the trajectory to get there remains variable.

Mainstream industry players are invested in a quantum view derived from Dr. Richard Feynman’s challenge to operate as nature operates — quantum mechanically. The issue is what it means to operate quantum mechanically, and how can we be sure that even our understanding of quantum mechanics is the entire basis of how nature operates?

FTCQC conducted several events over the course of the year to address this elephant in the room.

*From The Near to the Far* (held in December 2023) revisited the double-slit experiment to suggest other ways to approach quantum computing by shifting the focus from arbitrating quantum dynamics anchored by individual quantum objects (aka photons within the context of the double-slit experiment) to viewing Light (within the context of the double-slit experiment) as having implicit functions that determine the behavior of quantum objects:

From this perspective, several trajectories of quantum computing development become possible. The oval bubbles in the image below highlight these trajectories:

Mainstream players appear to be following the left-most ‘bottom-up’ branch based on ‘r-properties.’ R-properties can be considered quantum properties based on measuring quantum objects, which necessarily reduces the quantum state to something measurable. By following other branches, the implication is that it may be possible to ‘process’ quantum phenomenon so that ‘functional’ aspects become the basis of computation rather than measured quantum objects.

In this vein, I highlight a couple of other events.

First, Abundance Through Quantum Computation, which took place in May 2023. The event highlighted that quantum computation is happening all the time in atoms, molecules, and cells. We need to learn to leverage this to enable abundance. the following questions were addressed:

- Why is quantum computation an ideal candidate for increasing abundance?
- What is the trajectory toward abundance?
- What is the connection between quantum computation and genetics?
- What is the connection between quantum computation and AI?
- How will quantum computation change the foundations of material sciences?
- How will quantum computation enhance the management and maintenance of life?
- How might quantum computation connect us to an undying source of energy?
- How might quantum computation enable interstellar space travel?

In a nutshell, the components of the alternative trajectory to the development of quantum computation are based on a systems-view of matter, in which layers of matter and life have to be considered in unison with the quantum level to gain insight into dynamics that reside there.

Such a view allows us to perceive quantum intelligence (QI), of which quantum particles, atoms, and cells are subsequent and more sophisticated surfacings that allow more of QI to become materially operative in them. Each of the surfacings is itself a naturally occurring quantum computer that always generates genetic-type code as an output.

Since such surfacings are ubiquitous, learning to leverage them will, by definition, provide a back door to affecting abundance.

Second, in September 2023, there was an event, *Redefining Quantum Computing Boundaries*, which involved D-Wave and Infleqtion.

Based on my understanding, D-Wave’s approach is important because its computation is founded on annealing, already providing concrete results in targeted use cases. This must result from how it envisions and employs Hamiltonians, guiding the computation to the lowest energy scenarios, aka optimal solutions. This suggests that there are other fruitful approaches to tame quantum potentiality.

Infleqtion is important because of its prowess in atom-based technology, which could allow fresh insight into quantum dynamics. *Atom-Based Quantum Technology**,* held in April 2024, featured just Infleqtion:

Infleqtion’s technology to probe and work with Bose-Einstein Condensates to potentially ‘study’ quantum properties at the macroscopic level will be recognized as increasingly important to begin to get a better handle on what may be referred to as an ‘alternative quantum seed.’ This is based on the top-down branches, and in this Forbes event *Leveraging Imagination to Surface Quantum Technologies** *held in January 2024*, *a resulting interpretation of quantum dynamics — Quaternary Interpretation of Quantum Dynamics — is probed in more detail:

## Conclusion

At this early stage in the development of the quantum computing industry, it is crucial to pursue multiple developmental trajectories, diversifying our approaches. We must also recognize that ongoing challenges such as decoherence, scalability issues, and maintaining quantum states may stem from our incomplete understanding of nature. Building complexity in the wrong direction rather than simplicity in the right will hinder progress and push potential breakthroughs further into the future. Despite these obstacles, the importance of this field, which bridges the gap between the invisible and the visible, cannot be overstated. Investing in and grappling with quantum computing is essential, as any technology that can transform invisible potentiality into visible actuality will be a game-changer.

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## *Some Links Related to Quantum Computing Developments

- https://quantumcomputingreport.com/ibm-promises-a-disruptive-leap-for-quantum-in-2024/
- https://www.innovationnewsnetwork.com/2024-the-year-of-quantum-computing/42725/
- https://www.techopedia.com/future-of-quantum-computing
- https://thequantuminsider.com/2024/01/06/2023-a-year-of-growth-and-collaboration-for-quantum-computing/
- https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/the-rise-of-quantum-computing
- https://news.mit.edu/topic/quantum-computing