Top Use Cases for Quantum Computing

By Clint Brown

Top 5 Use Cases of Quantum Computing in 2022

Taking a trip down the memory lane, in 1998, the trio of Isaac Chuang, Neil Gershenfeld and Mark Kubinec developed the first quantum computer. The pioneers created a digital device that had just 2 qubits and could be loaded with data to solve problems. Over two decades later, you will probably be wondering if these disruptive computers are really in use in the world today. To answer that question, yes, they are in use today. In short, you can find them in many government institutions and corporations around the world. To give you more insights into the nature of problems that they will tackle and the companies spearheading the noble cause, this informative article will walk you through the top use cases of quantum computing in the real world. 

Top Use Cases of Quantum Computing 

Discussed below are the top 5 cases of quantum computers: 

Artificial Intelligence

Black sphere with blue dots connected by line or wire. Indicating a neural network

 Many people are seemingly impressed with what classical computers can do, but what if there is a generation of computers that does it better? Well, this is where quantum computing comes in. The application of artificial intelligence in quantum computing is known as Quantum AI. The aim of Quantum AI is to get more accurate feedback when quantum devices exhibit “intelligence.” For instance, Lockheed Martins, the American corporation with vast interests in aerospace, arms, information security and tech is already working closely with D-Wave to test autopilot software. The software is currently too difficult for conventional devices to analyze it. Also, the aim is to simplify the difficult task of coding digital devices. So far, this move has seen D-Wave develop a quantum computer, D-Wave Two, which helps Lockheed Martins to verify and validate complex control systems – a task that today’s computers cannot speedily and efficiently execute.    


Graph on computer screen

Today, quantum computers are increasingly making inroads into financial risk analysis. For example, in April 2020, retail banking group CaixaBank developed risk classification model using quantum computing, making it the first financial institution in Spain and one of the first in the world to take the step. By leveraging its hybrid model, the Spanish financial institution deploys quantum computing and conventional computing to classify credit risk profiles. The result is improved risk scenario simulations and simplifying complex algorithms that ordinarily require huge amounts of data to understand. Still on finance, online payment solution PayPal is collaborating with IBM to block cybercriminals from accessing their e-commerce payment platform. When this initiative is fully implemented, it will help PayPal detect online fraudsters and kick them out of their platform.    

Logistic industry

Shipping Container Yard, with a large number of containers lined up ready to be processed.

Another crucial use case of these next-gen computers is in the automotive and logistic industry. This explains why D-Wave entered into a deal with the leading Japanese automaker Toyota. According to the November 2017 agreement, the Canadian quantum computing company will work with the renowned automaker to explore how they can use quantum technology to improve customers’ ability to tackle complex problems, such as optimized delivery routes for trucks and improved factory efficiency. Toru Awashima, Project General Manager at Toyota Tsusho Corporation, hopes to see D-Wave improve the way they tackle those challenges, making it much better than they traditionally do. In a similar vein, German automaker Volkswagen has also collaborated with the D-Wave team to accurately predict traffic volumes and route trips for efficient flow of traffic. This project is currently going on in Lisbon, Portugal.   


Photo demonstrating 12 white dots connected in a 3d render. The purpose is to provide an impression that Pharmaceuticals are being constructed

As the application of quantum computers continuously goes ubiquitous, the pharmaceutical industry is not left out. This is simply because industry experts are also exploring how to apply the innovative technology to facilitate drug discovery and combination therapy. You see, drug-drug interaction (DDI) prediction is an important part of drug development because it raises serious safety concerns. In simple words, when two drugs are taken together, this may culminate in unintended reactions, toxic side effects, etc. Therefore, this unintended outcome is known as drug-drug interaction. Today, Accenture Labs, a R&D-focused group with interests in tech and engineering, is partnering with Biogen, a Massachusetts-based biotech innovator, to enhance drug discovery. By deploying quantum computing-powered optimization, sampling and machine learning, the two companies hope to tackle those key challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. It is noteworthy that classical computers can only compute a certain size of molecules, making them terribly unfit for the experiment. In an effort to expand what is obtainable today, Accenture will further work with 1QBit, a quantum software development firm, to adopt the latter’s pre-developed structural molecular comparison algorithms. This way, they can improve drug discovery and patient outcomes. 

Ecofriendly Energy Alternative

Last but not least is the use of quantum computing in developing ecofriendly energy alternatives. To harness clean and renewable energy from solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric projects, there has to be manual or computer-aided optimization. The essence of all this is to ensure that the power generated through the process is greater than the energy used to generate it. Unlike conventional computing, quantum computing helps to effectively automate the process, ensuring adequate generation of renewable energy. Meet IonQ, a quantum computing company turning the idea of renewable energy generation into reality. The company is currently experimenting on hydrogen fuel to serve as a viable alternative to today’s renewable energy sources. By doing so, IonQ ensures that there is no room for harmful greenhouse gas emissions. This process uses electrolysis to split the basal hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water (H20). As of February 2019, the company has successfully performed the first simulation of water molecules using a quantum device. Similarly, Perth-based iron ore company Fortescue has also invested in PsiQuantum in order to achieve the same goal using the same technology.     


Granted, developments in quantum computing are still in their infancy stage. Despite that, many companies are beginning to foresee the enormous potential that the cutting-edge technology offers and are taking bold steps to shape the future of computing. Aside from the five areas discussed above, quantum computers are going to be extremely relevant in weather forecasting, financial market analysis, cybersecurity, etc. However, the benefits of all these efforts will start trickling in in the near future. Moreover, these disruptive devices will not kick out your regular computers at the drop of a hat. This means that both classical devices and quantum devices will be used simultaneously until the former gradually leaves the stage. Quantum computing is upon us; and it is set to usher in a generation of ultrafast devices that will accurately solve problems with mind-blowing simplicity. So, the wait is over!

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