Beyond Science Fiction — IBM’s Vision for The Future of Quantum Computing

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For the uninitiated, the term “quantum” will probably resonate more as a far-off futuristic concept that is still operating in a nebulous development zone. TV shows like 1989’s Quantum Leap or the 2016 videogame Quantum Break paint this term as a powerful, unknown force, a science experiment gone wrong kicking off both of these exciting action tales. These IPs are almost 30 years apart and still the general public’s understanding of what exactly quantum computing does seems to have remained the same; and though the scientific community has discovered a lot in those 30 years, there is still an unfathomable amount that we do not know.

One organization that hasn’t slowed down in their quest to take computing beyond the classic 0s and 1s; that company being IBM. In September of this year, the company revealed its ambitious roadmap with the hopes of eventually building a full-fledged quantum computer, which would be revolutionary on the scale of the Robert E. Khan, father of the internet. Perhaps that seems like an exaggeration, but the unlimited, untapped potential that exists within the quantum realm can bring humanity as a whole to new heights we never could have imagined. So how does “Big Blue” intend to gain the resources, manpower, and harness the absolute genius needed to pull this feat off? The answer comes in the many, many institutions, startups, and research communities they have fostered relationships with and could stand to gain much from the success of this project. Thus, the Q network was born, an intricate, global network that works with current IBM quantum technology in order to invent new solutions to bring quantum computing to the next level.

One such example is the Institut Quantique at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, which this year opened the very first IBM Q Hub in the country. With the Institute now having cloud access to IBM’s quantum technology, research teams now have their own exclusive programming slot, which provides access to 18 of IBM’s most advanced quantum computing systems, including a 53-qubit IBM Quantum system, currently the largest universal system available. (It is 65-qubits now actually).

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Working hard! A photo taken prior to the expansion to the institute’s labs that began this July. (source: facebook)

It is an exciting partnership to say the least, and also a very strategic one. The Quebec government paid over $4.5 million dollars in funding to the institute so they can expand their labs and make it capable of hosting its own Q lab. As Canada struggles to turn a profit from quantum research for economic applications despite investing over $1billion dollars into this particular field, this is perhaps a step in the right direction.

Are they up for the challenge in Sherbrooke, Quebec? All signs point to yes as they are currently developing several projects already in spite of these trying times. Partnership Development Manager, Ghislain Lefebvre has certainly been busy, delivering several insightful webinars, podcasts, and other such events as a way to educate various stakeholders about the power of quantum computing. He has mastered the ability to put these lofty concepts into terms that the average person can understand. This is vital since the more organizations and individuals see the value in quantum’s capabilities, the more investments, resources, and support is given to the work they do. With his efforts, it aligns with IBM’s ambitious goal to one day have personal quantum computers in every family household.

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Ghislain Lefebvre (source: institut Quantique)

This December 16th, Lefebvre, and IBM veteran and senior innovation executive, Jean-François Barsoum, will be speaking to a passionate community of researchers and learners about quantum computing and answering any questions they have that will maybe dispel the myths around it. Hosted by AI specialist and IBM developer, Andrew Jaramillo , it is an event you definitely do not want to miss and will only be found on DotsLive.

It may still seem like science fiction to some, but that fiction is becoming reality faster than we expect.

To RSVP to the event, please visit our event page, (it’s free!)

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