Open Source, Emerging Standards, And Quantum Computing

Published by whurley (10/23/2017)

I’ll Be in New York in Two Weeks for the Open Source Strategy Forum!

You can hear me speak about “Open Source, Emerging Standards, and Quantum Computing” at the BNY Mellon Conference Center in New York on November 8.  It’s going to be a great event.  If you’re in the financial services sector, or you’re just in the area, you should definitely plan to attend.

So last week I was doing some preparation for the forum, when somebody asked me what an average day was like in my life.  No one had ever asked me that before, so it took me a minute to respond.  In hindsight, it shouldn’t have taken me that long.  My life is pretty straightforward right now.

These days, I spend the majority of my time focusing on my current passion: quantum computing. For those of you unfamiliar with the subject, Wikipedia says:

Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors.

I like to explain it a little differently. In my new book, Endless Impossibilities: Understanding and Preparing for the Coming Age of Quantum Computing (Mar 2018 release), I discuss how this technology will revolutionize the world of big data, medicine, geoengineering, finance, and much more.

Disrupting the Financial Sector

Take finance, for example. Quantum computers are going to disrupt the financial industry in a number of ways. Quantum computers can run more powerful algorithms and analyze vastly larger data sets than their classical predecessors. That means they can break some current encryption schemes. They have the potential to increase the speed, precision, volume, and accuracy of high-speed trading. They could be used to automatically detect more sophisticated patterns of fraud and help power the artificial intelligence that will learn to identify and prevent new forms of fraud as they emerge.

Currently, it’s impossible to identify the optimum portfolio for a given set of conditions. Even if you were to limit yourself to the S&P 500, there are still too many combinations for classical computers to analyze. A robust quantum computer with just 50 qubits could do it in a matter of minutes. These things are all possible. The potential is there.

You can see why I’ve become an evangelist. Every day I’m working on the book. (Don’t let anybody tell you that books are easy. They’re painful. They’re not labors of love, but insanity.) When I take a break from the book, I’m working on the “IEEE P7130™—Standard for Quantum Computing Definitions” project that I helped start with IBM, 1Qbit, and Professor Hidetoshi Nishimori (Tokyo Institute of Technology). We’re helping create a common language in the field and drive innovation (I hope). And I’m always working on new content for my blog , which covers my speaking engagements, current events in quantum computing, and other related topics.

Nothing to See Here

I also take the opportunities that come my way to spread the good news of quantum computing at conferences and events all over the world. I meet regularly with members of the open source community, mostly about an unreleased quantum computing initiative that I’m hoping will be announced by the time we all meet up at OSSF. (Fingers crossed!) It’s critical that we have a strong open source movement so this incredible technology will be democratized as much as possible.

When I’m not writing or in meetings, I’m probably in the air on the way to my next conference, or trying to convince my wife not to leave me. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and she’s helping me get my life back in balance. I’ve got three sons who I adore, and don’t get to spend enough time with. I like to read to the younger ones.  Right now we’re into Chris Ferrie’s science for babies series.

And that’s really it. Eat.  Sleep.  Write.  Meet.  Fly my face off.  Kind of monotonous when I put it like that, huh?

Do come out and hear me speak on Wednesday, November 8, in New York.  You’ll learn something, we’ll do some networking, it’ll be fabulous.  See you there!