How Quantum Computing Will Help Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

Quantum computing is still in its early stages, however it is anticipated to become more powerful and consequently more beneficial to humans for a wide range of tasks in the years ahead. Quantum computing’s unique features and potential to significantly reduce computation time make it well suited for tackling problems which would be impossible for classical computers to solve.

These computers are not intended to be used in the same manner as modern computers, partly due to the extensive infrastructure needed to support them. In reality, most businesses and organisations will not possess one. However, they will be accessible to scientists, institutions, and large corporations via services such as Google Cloud.

We shall examine the potential of quantum computers to improve healthcare, sustainability and food production and distribution.

Keeping People Healthy

Quantum computing has the potential to be a valuable aid to healthcare researchers. It could facilitate the detection of illnesses in individuals, the analysis of symptom patterns across groups, and the development of novel treatments. In terms of illness diagnosis, healthcare practitioners will be able to combine multiple data sets into their process, allowing them to identify hazardous genetic mutations or combinations more quickly. Furthermore, quantum imaging systems could help radiologists more accurately analyse images, leading to more accurate diagnosis of internal abnormalities.

Quantum computers have the potential to rapidly identify symptom patterns across large populations, enabling us to gain a better understanding of existing and emerging illnesses. Furthermore, they can be used to quickly search chemical databases in order to identify targets and develop medicines that are tailored to individual healthcare needs.

Feeding the World

Data analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have already had a positive impact on global food security by increasing the yield of crops, improving agricultural methods and controlling weed and insect issues. Quantum computing could take these solutions to the next level by speeding up computations that lead to these results, as well as accelerating the process of enhancing plant traits, without the need for laborious cross-breeding.

The challenges to maximising food production and efficiently providing it to those who need it are considerable. According to Food Logistics, approximately one third of global food production is lost due to supply chain inefficiency. Quantum computing may present an innovative solution, by helping to identify the most efficient pathways for carriers to take.

Addressing Climate Change

Quantum computers have the potential to assist researchers in improving carbon capture techniques, thereby reducing the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere and mitigating the effects of global climate change. This is according to Quantum Computing Report.

  • ExxonMobil and IBM are working together to employ quantum simulations to enhance carbon sequestration research.
  • Microsoft aims to employ quantum computers to aid with direct air capture.
  • In Europe, energy company Total is cooperating with Cambridge Quantum Computing to attain carbon neutrality in their energy production by 2050.

It is widely acknowledged that the full transition from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs) is a pivotal step in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and tackling climate change. Quantum computing could be used to improve the design of EV batteries, such as those requiring fewer recharges. Moreover, with the advancement of solid-state electric batteries, quantum computing could also help address the issue of e-waste from discarded lithium-ion batteries.

Updating Energy Delivery

Quantum computing could provide a number of potential benefits to the energy sector. It could improve the efficiency of energy networks by allowing for the seamless integration of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. According to Cleantech Group, this could help to make grid topology management, synthetic grid inertia modelling and massive cross-network transactive energy more manageable.

The analysis of consumer data can be of great benefit to the energy sector. Utilising data from smart meters, smart buildings and other connected devices, businesses can use this information to improve their processes and provide more tailored services for their customers. Quantum computing could be a useful tool for utilities companies, helping them to integrate this data and make informed decisions.

Improving Online Safety

It is widely acknowledged in the business and tech spheres that cyberattacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, as criminals seek to capitalise on weaknesses in network security systems. Quantum computing is set to revolutionise the approach of security professionals, enabling them to create more effective solutions and to educate personnel on the best methods for safeguarding against cyber threats.

Paul Lipman, a member of the Forbes Councils, outlines four ways in which quantum technology will change the landscape of cyber security.

  • Quantum optics are used in a process called quantum random number generation to create really random number generators.
  • In order to secretly share information, quantum-secure communications, such as the exchange of cryptographic keys, are used.
  • The challenge of decrypting public-key encryption, such as the Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) algorithm, is an extensive undertaking that would take a classical computer an estimated trillion years to complete.
  • We are incorporating faster, more efficient machine learning methods which enable the detection and blocking of previously unrecognized attacks, improving both time and energy efficiency.

Organisations may benefit from some of the outcomes of the quantum era, however, there are likely to be new risks associated with this. Consequently, businesses must ensure they have the necessary safeguards in place to mitigate any potential issues.

Explore the Potential

The widespread implementation of quantum computers is still a few years away, with challenges needing to be overcome first. These challenges include the development of a substantial infrastructure, advancing the technology to reach an adequate number of qubits, and training the initial cohort of quantum computing professionals.

However, governments, scholars and corporations are already looking ahead to the transformation that will take place when the time arrives. The sectors listed below are only a few of the many businesses that will benefit from the enhanced capabilities of this new type of computing. Other sectors include manufacturing, communication and tourism.

It may be beneficial for firms of all sectors to investigate the potential advantages of quantum computing, which is no longer just a technology of the distant future.

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