Category Archives: Quantum Computing

Major Quantum Computing Projects And Innovations Of 2020 – Analytics India Magazine

Quantum computing has opened multiple doors of possibilities for quick and accurate computation for complex problems, something which traditional methods fail at doing. The pace of experimentation in quantum computing has very naturally increased in recent years. 2020 too saw its share of such breakthroughs, which lays the groundwork for future innovations. We list some of the significant quantum computing projects and experiments of 2020.

IT services company Atos devised Q-Score for measuring quantum performance. As per the company, this is the first universal quantum metric that applies to all programmable quantum processors. The company said that in comparison to qubits, the standard figure of merit for performance assessment, Q-Score provides explicit, reliable, objective, and comparable results when solving real-world optimisation problems.

The Q-Score is calculated against three parameters: application-driven, ease of use, and objectiveness and reliability.

Googles AI Quantum team performed the largest chemical simulation, to date, on a quantum computer. Explaining the experiment in a paper titled, Hartree-Fock on a superconducting qubit quantum computer, the team said it used variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) to simulate chemical mechanisms using quantum algorithms.

It was found that the calculations performed in this experiment were two times larger than the previous similar experiments and contained about ten times the number of quantum gate operations.

The University of Sydney developed an algorithm for characterising noise in large scale quantum computers. Noise is one of the major obstacles in building quantum computers. With this newly developed algorithm, they have tried to tame the noise by reducing interference and instability.

A new method was introduced to return an estimate of the effective noise with relative precision. The method could also detect all correlated errors, enabling the discovery of long-range two-qubit correlations in the 14 qubit device. In comparison, the previous methods would render infeasible for device size above 10 qubits.

The tool is highly scalable, and it has been tested successfully on the IBM Quantum Experience device. The team believes that with this, the efficiency of quantum computers in solving computing problems will be addressed.

Canadian quantum computing D-Wave Systems announced the general availability of its next-generation quantum computing platform. This platform offers new hardware, software, and tools for accelerating the delivery of quantum computing applications. The platform is now available in the Leap quantum cloud service and has additions such as Advantage quantum system with 5000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity.

It also has an expanded solver service that can perform calculations of up to one million variables. With these capabilities, the platform is expected to assist businesses that are running real-time quantum applications for the first time.

Physicists at MIT reported evidence of Majorana fermions on the surface of gold. Majorana fermions are particles that are theoretically their own antiparticle; it is the first time these have been observed on metal as common as gold. With this discovery, physicists believe that this could prove to be a breakthrough for stable and error-free qubits for quantum computing.

The future innovation in this direction would be based on the idea that combinations of Majorana fermions pairs can build qubit in such a way that if noise error affects one of them, the other would still remain unaffected, thereby preserving the integrity of the computations.

In December, Intel introduced Horse Ridge II. It is the second generation of its cryogenic control chip, considered a milestone towards developing scalable quantum computers. Based on its predecessor, Horse Ridge I, it supports a higher level of integration for the quantum systems control. It can read qubit states and control several gates simultaneously to entangle multiple qubits. One of its key features is the Qubit readout that provides the ability to read the current qubit state.

With this feature, Horse Ridge II allows for faster on-chip, low latency qubit state detection. Its multigate pulsing helps in controlling the potential of qubit gates. This ability allows for the scalability of quantum computers.

I am a journalist with a postgraduate degree in computer network engineering. When not reading or writing, one can find me doodling away to my hearts content.

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Major Quantum Computing Projects And Innovations Of 2020 - Analytics India Magazine

A little better all the time in 2021 – Science Magazine

A famous story about the Beatles tells of the collaboration between Paul McCartney and John Lennon on the song Getting Better for their legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. After McCartney wrote the lines I've got to admit, it's getting better; a little better all the time, Lennon wryly added, It can't get no worse. This story could serve as an epigraph as the calendar turns from the year 2020, which could hardly have gotten much worse, to 2021, when we hope life will indeed get a little better all the time. Better from COVID-19 because of the vaccines, better from misinformation spread by outgoing president Donald Trump and his allies, and better, we can hope, when it comes to the production and distribution of scientific knowledge.

There's plenty of exciting science to be optimistic about in 2021 (see News on p. 6). At the end of 2020, the DeepMind group in the United Kingdom announced a major advance in long-standing challenges in protein folding, predicting three-dimensional (3D) structures of proteins from their amino acid sequence. The next year portends even more exciting advances in protein structure and design.

On the cosmic front, there are many efforts underway to bring samples from the Solar System back to this planet. The Hayabusa2 mission that traveled to the asteroid 162173 Ryugu retrieved what could be a treasure trove of material revealing details about the ancient delivery of water and organic molecules to Earth. Similarly, the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) mission has collected samples from the asteroid Bennu that, when they arrive, could reveal important aspects of the formation of the Solar System. The new Mars rover Perseverance will land in February and, in addition to transmitting important data from the red planet, will begin the process of collecting samples that may eventually be studied in terrestrial laboratories.

In biology, the COVID-19 pandemic led to major advances in the development and application of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. It is stunning that science not only came up with a vaccine to a new pathogen so quickly but also advanced a brand new vaccine technology, albeit one that was already in development for several years. The application of mRNA therapies to other problems in infectious diseases and throughout medicine will be exciting to follow.

Quantum computing remains an important area to watch. This year, Science published a paper that describes the application of a quantum computer to an important problem in theoretical chemistry. In the coming months, it's likely that there will be progress in addressing the problem of quantum error correction, pushing quantum computing a little closer to routine application.

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing continue to become more practical. In particular, the ability to apply these techniques to new types of materials will make it more likely that advanced manufacturing can benefit from the science behind these processes.

On the policy front, the continued development of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) organizationas described in a recent editorial by Ottoline Leyserwill be of keen interest as the Brexit process continues. Despite choppy politics, the scientific vision of UKRI is strong and could lead to advances in British science.

In the United States, although the Biden White House will certainly be friendlier to science, the science denial that fueled the Trump administration will linger in the American population and among some conservative politicians. The battles ahead are not to be underestimated. Continued denial of climate change and COVID-19 is sadly inevitable, and it will take everything U.S. science and the Biden administration can muster to stay strong. Still, as new leaders are named and confirmed in health and science policy, U.S. science should be able to at least catch its breath and feel optimistic about a new era.

Although 2020 will certainly go down as a year that couldn't get much worse, there is plenty to be proud of and reason to hope that things will be getting better. The virus was confronted. Epidemiologists and other scientists became household names. And the scientific community found a much stronger voice, one that will serve us all well in 2021 and beyond.

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A little better all the time in 2021 - Science Magazine

Quantum Computing Entwined with AI is Driving the Impossible to Possible – Analytics Insight

Mergingquantum computing with artificial intelligence (AI)has been on the priority list for researchers and scientists. Even though quantum computing is still in the early phases of development, there have been many innovations and breakthrough. However, it is still unclear on whether the world will change for good or bad when AI is totally influenced by quantum computing.

Quantum computingis similar to traditional computing. It relies on bits, which are 0s and 1s to encode information. The data keeps growing despite limiting it. Moores law has observed that the number of transistors on integrated circuits wills double every two years, making way for tech giants to run the race of making the smallest chips. This has also induced tech companies to compete for the first launch of a viable quantum computer that would be exponentially more powerful than todays computers. The futuristic computer will process all the data we generate and solve increasingly complex problems.

Remarkably, the use ofquantum algorithms in artificial intelligencetechniques will boost machines learning abilities. This will lead to improvements in an unprecedented way. The main goal of the merger is to achieve a so-calledquantum advantage, where complex algorithms can be calculated significantly faster than with the best classical computer. The expected change will be a breakthrough in AI. Experts and business leaders predict thatquantum computings processing powercould begin to improve AI systems within about five years. However, combining AI and quantum is considered scary from an angle. The late researcher and scientist Stephen Hawking has said that the development of full AI could spell the end of the human race. Once humans develop AI, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution couldnt compete and would supersede.

Can solve complex problems quickly

One of the major expectations that people have fromquantum computingis to have increased computational skill. It is predicted that quantum computers will be able to complete calculations within seconds that would take thousands of years to calculate. Google claims that the company has a quantum computer that is 100 million times faster than any existing computer. This futuristic and quick way of calculating will solve all the data problems in minutes if not seconds. The key to availing the transition is by converting all the existing data into quantum language.

Enhance warfighter capabilities

Even though the improvement of quantum computing is in the initial stage, it is expected to enhance warfighter capabilities significantly in the future. It is predicted that quantum computing is likely to impact ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), solving logistic problems more quickly. While we know the types of problems and general application space, optimisation problems will be some of the first where we will see advantages.

Applications in the banking sector

Malpractice and constant forgeries are common in the banking and financial sector. Fortunately, the combination of AI with quantum computing might help improve and combat fraud detection. Models trained using a quantum computer will be capable of detecting patterns that are hard to spot using conventional equipment. Meanwhile, the acceleration of algorithms will yield great advantages in terms of the volume of information that the machines handle for this purpose.

Help integrate data from different datasets

Quantum computers are anticipated to be experts in merging different datasets. Although this seems quite impossible without human intervention in the initial phase, computers will eventually learn to integrate data in the future. Henceforth, if there are different raw data sources with unique schema attached to them and a research team wants to compare them, a computer would have to understand the relationship between the schemas before the data could be compared.

All is not good though

In some way, AI and quantum computing worry people with an equal amount of expectations it gives. Quantum computing technology will be very futuristic, but we cant assure you that it is human-friendly. It could be far better than humans suppressing people in their jobs. Quantum computing also poses athreat to security. The latest Thales Data Threat report says that 72% of surveyed security experts worldwide believe quantum computing will have a negative impact on data security within the next five years.

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Quantum Computing Entwined with AI is Driving the Impossible to Possible - Analytics Insight

QubitTech shapes the future of quantum computing – IBTimes India

We still think of quantum computing as of science fiction, but in fact, it is already there. The quantum computing industry was worth $507.1 million in 2019. Experts from the McKinsey consulting company estimate that the quantum computing industry may exceed $65 billion by 2030, and reach an unprecedented $1 trillion by 2035. So, basically, in a few years, quantum computing will become mainstream. But how does business react to this eventuality?

Tech giants like IBM, Google, Honeywell and many others are in for the race to be the first to implement quantum computing on a massive scale. There is no clear leader yet, but recently Honeywell made a bold move: the company announced that its newest quantum computer has reached a quantum volume of 64 - twice as much as computers of IBM and Google.

And while the giants are at each other's throats, smaller companies look for alternative approaches. One of the first minor companies to showcase real-life use cases for the technology is QubitTechthat has demonstrated application of quantum computing in asset management. Thus quantum computing becomes not a theoretical breakthrough, but a financially viable and useful technology for everyone.

QubitTech is a company founded by a group of independent experts in algorithmic and traditional asset management. QubitTech CEO Greg Limon, also co-founder and shareholder of Toronto-based DigiMax Globa,l is known to have conducted two successful IPOs and participated in numerous venture projects with over $2 billion funds raised. His market expertise is second to none, as he has personally raised over $300 million for a series of successful startups that have grown to become global names.

Application of quantum technologies

The QubitTech platform makes use of quantum technologies that were initially fielded by IBM and offered a unique set of tools based on machine learning methods, quantum algorithms, and quantum neural networks.

Continuous improvements and testing have allowed the algorithmic systems used by QubitTech to advance into more sophisticated areas of application and offer their users a host of adjustable settings for achieving better risk to reward ratios in financial operations.

QubitTech has a clearly defined internal structure with dedicated workgroups for separate departments. Apart from having a healthy mix of experts on the team from financial, consulting, investment banking and other areas, QubitTech designs its own software solutions using internal resources.

The technological products offered by QubitTech give users the ability to select from a variety of balanced strategies based on smart diversification achieved by the use of algorithmic and traditional methods that are applied on the Bitfinex and Binance exchange platforms. More traditional approaches are also available for clients considering their strategies conservative.

The constructs have been proven to deliver up to 7% monthly yields. The simultaneous use of several strategies has been proven to deliver more promising results and QubitTech delivers.

Apart from trading bots and quantum computing constructs, QubitTech offers a host of other products as well, underscoring the platform's title as a full-fledged ecosystem of interconnected applications. Among the products is the P2P platform CryptoLocal are:

Other services that QubitTech plans to release in 2021 include a marketplace, a dedicated gaming platform, a venture fund, and an accelerator powered by the efforts of the project community.

The company has been making headway in its global expansion and is already represented in 13 countries with 150,000 active users.

The merger of quantum computing and the cryptocurrency industry may be a novel practice, but time has proven that advanced technologies often benefit each other. And while the two industries seem to be developed separately, some companies like QubitTech are taking leaps of faith and technological development, showing audiences what combined efforts can deliver.

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QubitTech shapes the future of quantum computing - IBTimes India

The Biggest Science Stories of 2020 | Technically Speaking – Inside Tucson Business

As we enter a new year, were taking time to look back at some of the biggest local science stories that came out of the University of Arizona in 2020. Because theres already so much news about COVID-19, were excluding any pandemic science stories, and instead focusing on research developments coming out of the university.

OSIRIS-REx successfully retrieves asteroid sample. More than four years after launching from Earth, the University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured a sample of an asteroids surface on Oct. 20, 2020. The NASA spacecraft actually arrived at its destination, the asteroid Bennu more than 200 million miles away, in December 2018, but spent nearly two years orbiting and mapping its surface. The OSIRIS-REx team announced several crucial steps leading up to the sample collection. Close-up imaging showed that the asteroids surface was far rockier than originally expected. Scans revealed Bennu is packed with more than 200 boulders larger than 33 feet (10 m) in diameter and many more that are 3 feet (1 m) or larger. This meant the spacecraft only had an area the size of a few parking spots from which to collect the samples. The sample process took more than four hours, with the spacecraft slowly descending 2,500 feet from orbit toward the asteroid. While the spacecraft came in contact with the asteroid, it didnt land. Instead, it extended a robotic arm and fired a jet of pressurized nitrogen to kick up dust and rocks from the asteroids surface. Some of the agitated material was captured in OSIRIS-RExs collector head, and the spacecraft then used thrusters to move away from the asteroid. Scientists believe the spacecraft touched the surface only three feet from where they originally planned. OSIRIS-REx is expected to return the captured dust and rocks to Earth in 2023. With this carbon-rich material, scientists hope to better understand the formation of our early solar system, and even the origins of life on our planet.

Quantum Computing. Three researchers from the University of Arizonas College of Engineering are part of the newly established Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center, led by the U.S. Department of Energy. The $115 million center aims to build a quantum computer and develop quantum sensors that could lead to discoveries about dark matter and other elusive subatomic particles. The involved local researchers are professor of electrical and computer engineering Bane Vasic, assistant professor of materials science and engineering Zheshen Zhang and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Quntao Zhuang. Whereas standard computers operate on a binary system of 0s and 1s, quantum computers operate with qubits which can exist as 0 and 1 simultaneously, making them exponentially more powerful. However, this superposition makes quantum computers far less stable. One of the primary goals of the new Center and the local researchers is to increase quantum computers stability. According to Vasic, designing good quantum error correction codes and decoders is arguably the most important theoretical challenge facing practical realizations of quantum-enabled information processing systems. Zhang argues that quantum computing is going to completely transform our current technology and become a driver for the economy. The researchers expect the Center to play a major role in changing the next generation of our workforce.

Personalized Cancer Vaccines. After promising preliminary tests, a study led by UA researcher Dr. Julie Bauman will be expanded to further investigate the safety and effectiveness of a personalized cancer vaccine. Baumans study uses a patients own cancer cells to develop a vaccine intended to teach their immune system how to recognize and destroy cancer cells. This personalized vaccine was used in combination with the immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab. The preliminary test used both of these treatments on 10 patients with head and neck cancer, seven of whom were treated at Banner University Medicine. According to the study, half of the patients experienced a clinical response to the personalized cancer vaccine, and two patients had no detectable disease present after the treatment. This 50% clinical response is much higher than the approximately 15% response rate in patients who receive Pembrolizumab immunotherapy alone. Moving forward, the study will expand to 40 patients with head and neck cancer. According to UA, to identify the patient-specific mutations of the cancer, mutated DNA from the patients tumor is simultaneously sequenced with healthy DNA from the patients blood. Computers then compare the two DNA samples to identify the unique cancer mutations.

Safer Opioids. Researchers at the UAs College of Medicine have found a way to enhance the effectiveness and presumably decrease the side effects of opioid therapy. While opioids are one of the most effective and common treatments for chronic pain, their dangerous side effects and addictive qualities have caused an epidemic in the US resulting in nearly 50,000 deaths annually. But a potential solution to this high-risk usage was recently found by local researchers, who found that inhibiting the heat shock protein 90 in the spinal cord can improve opioid use. According to researcher John Streicher of the UAs Department of Pharmacology, it seems like heat shock protein 90 is inhibiting one of those pathways in the spinal cord and preventing it from being activated. When we give this inhibitor in the spinal cord, it unblocks that pathway, which provides another route to greater pain relief. The findings suggest that inhibiting heat shock protein 90 could give doctors the opportunity to implement a dose-reduction strategy for patients. Less opioid drugs could be prescribed, but patients would get the same levels of pain relief while experiencing reduced side effects.

Technology in the Brain. Researchers at UA, George Washington University and Northwestern University have created an ultra-small, wireless, battery-free device that uses light to record individual neurons so neuroscientists can see how the brain is working. The goal is to better understand the brain, specifically how individual neurons interact with each other. The process first involves tinting select neurons with a dye that changes in brightness depending on activity. Then, the device shines a light on the dye, making the neurons biochemical processes visible. The device captures the changes using a probe only slightly wider than a human hair, then processes a direct readout of the neurons activity and transmits the information wirelessly to researchers. The devices in use are smaller than an M&M and only one-20th of the weight. They can afford to be so small and flexible because they do not need a battery, instead harvesting energy from external oscillating magnetic fields gathered by a miniature antenna on the device. Ultimately, the technology is planned to help the fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons, and perhaps even help us better understand the brains biological mechanisms, such as pain and depression.

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The Biggest Science Stories of 2020 | Technically Speaking - Inside Tucson Business

Tech trends to watch in 2021 – India Today

The year 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years and in parallel, we have seen the transition of technology in various sectors that has really helped humanity predict & prepare for any catastrophic condition. Considering the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the situations, many Scientists, Engineers & other techies have realized that a lot of development is still required to make life easier with accessible technology. Therefore, we bring to you some of the top tech trends to watch in 2021:

In the last decade, we have seen that there is no limit for technology & with the rise of digitalization in India, there will be a need for Quantum computing in order to protect Banking systems & IT security from cybercrime. With database processing as a critical strength of quantum computing, technologies such as artificial intelligence will be one application that will get significant benefit from the superior processing of Quantum computers.

Therefore, it can be seen that there will be massive competition among the big IT giants to provide services in cybersecurity, drug development, climatic condition prediction, etc., with the help of quantum computing.

In IoT applications, there were two challenges: the range and battery life. These two challenges are now overcome with the help of NB IoT. Considering the fact that approximately 21 billion devices will be connected by 2025, there will be a huge competition between Telecoms like Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, and others to provide cost-effective & efficient solution to their consumers in SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) model. Moreover, India is working actively on NB IoT. In a first, BSNL with Skylo has launched the world's first satellite-based on NB-IoT to streamline various sectors, including fishers, farmers, construction, mining and logistics enterprises.

Tech trends to watch in 2021 | Representational image

IPA is the advanced version of RPA i.e., Robotics Process Automation. It is actually a combination of RPA & Machine Learning. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, most of the IT industry has given intimation that there is a possibility to announce permanent work from home & some of the companies have already declared the same, including TCS, Deloitte, Twitter, etc. It is imperative for any industry to check the activeness, productivity & relative output from the workforce during this scenario.

Therefore, IPA techniques will be expected to increase process efficiency, better customer experience, optimize workforce productivity, and generate a relatively surge in revenue generation. In 2019-2020 we saw how chatbot helped the firms automate customer interaction & thereby reducing the operational cost. Similarly, various IPA techniques will help firms of any kind to construct any raw data into a structured one. In consequence, IPA techniques will be going to reducing human error & enhancing customer satisfaction.

Artificial Intelligence will expand its footprints in various sectors, including military, defence, agriculture, automotive, education, medical, construction, etc. power & scope of AI is unimaginable; it's endless. According to Fox News, the artificial intelligence algorithm, developed by heron systems, swept a human F-16 pilot in a simulated dogfight 5-0 on August 2020. Additionally, with the launch of GPT-3, an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text developed by the OpenAI lab team.

This model expects to generate excellent quality text, making it difficult to distinguish whether the text is generated by humans or machines. In the agriculture sector, too, there will be some expectation to increase crop productivity with the help of AI techniques & thereby increasing farmers' income.

With the announcement of NEP 2020 by the Ministry of Education, there will be a change in all the institutions' learning patterns. We can see the rise in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, blockchain, etc. Hence, the education ministry will put strenuous effort into upgrading India's education quality to make a skilled workforce.

Most awaited 5G or the 5th generation cellular network technology services is expected to launch in 2021 as telecom giants including Bharti Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea is ramping up to move early trails to commercialization with their respective partners.

Meanwhile, Reliance CMD Mr. Mukesh Ambani has already declared that Jio is ready with the infrastructure & Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021. This way, we can realize that technologies have made our lives easier and better in many misfortune situations. Hence, it will be our primary need in the future to let humans and machines work together to protect humans.

-Article by Abhishek Gupta, CEO & Co-founder, Hex N Bit

READ | Education sector's 2021 outlook and trends to keep in mind

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Tech trends to watch in 2021 - India Today

Tech trends in 2021: How artificial intelligence and technology will reshape businesses – The Financial Express

What better time than now to unveil what to look out for in the world of AI and technology in 2021.

By Prithwis De

The year 2020 will be marked as an unprecedented year in history due to the adverse impact of coronavirus worldwide. This pandemic has started bringing extraordinary changes in some key areas. The trends of faster drug development, effective remote care, efficient supply chain, etc, will continue into 2021. Drone technology is already playing a vital role in delivering food and other essentials alongside relief activities.

With Covid-19 came a new concept of the Internet of Behaviour within organisations to track human behaviour in the work environment and trace any slack in maintaining guidelines. Now on, organisations are set to capture and combine behaviour-related data from different sources and use it. We can assertively say it will affect the way organisations interact with people, going forward. Students are experiencing distance learning, taking examinations under remotely-monitored and proctored surveillance systems through identity verification and authentication in real time.

All these will have a high impact on technology, which will shape our outlook in the future. Businesses around the globe are taking the giant leap to become tech-savvy with quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, etc. AI and cloud computing are alluring us all towards an environment of efficiency, security, optimisation and confidence. What better time than now to unveil what to look out for in the world of AI and technology in 2021.

What 2020 has paved the way for is quantum computing. Now, be prepared to adapt to a hybrid computing approach (conventional cum quantum computing) to problem-solving. This paradigm shift in computing will result in the emergence of implausible ways to solve existing business problems and ideate new opportunities. Its effects will be visible on our ability to perform better in diverse areasfinancial forecasting, weather predictions, drug and vaccine development, blood-protein analysis, supply chain planning and optimisation, etc. Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS) will be a natural choice for organisations to plug into the experiments as we advance. Forward-thinking businesses are excited to take the quantum leap, but the transition is still in a nascent stage. This new year will be a crucial stepping stone towards the future of things to change in the following years.

Cloud providers such as Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google will continue to hog the limelight as the AI tool providers for most companies leaning towards real-time experiments in their business processes in the months to follow. Efficiency, security and customisation are the advantages for which serverless and hybrid cloud computing are gaining firm ground with big enterprises. It will continue to do so in 2021.

Going forward, the aim is to make the black box of AI transparent with explainable AI. The lack of clarity hampers our ability to trust AI yet. Automated machine learning (AutoML), another crucial area, is likely to be very popular in the near future. One more trend that caught on like wildfire in 2020 is Machine Learning Operations (MLOps). It provides organisations visibility of their models and has become an efficient tool to steer clear of duplicated efforts in AI. Most of the companies have been graduating from AI experimentations and pilot projects to implementation. This endeavour is bound to grow further and enable AI experts to have more control over their work from end-to-end now onwards.

Cybersecurity will gain prime importance in 2021 and beyond as there is no doubt that hacking and cybercrime prevention are priorities for all businesses with sensitive data becoming easily accessible with advanced phishing tools. Advanced prediction algorithms, along with AI, will play a decisive role in the future to prevent such breaches in data security.

AI and the Internet of Things along with edge computing, which is data processing nearer the source closer to the device at the edge of the network, will usher in a new era for actionable insights from the vast amount of data. The in-memory-accelerated-real-time AI will be needed, particularly when 5G has started creating new opportunities for disruption.

In 2020, there was a dip in overall funding as the pandemic had badly impacted the investment sector due to a reduction in activity. Some of the technology start-ups are still unable to cope up with the challenges created due to Covid-19 and the consequent worsening economic conditions. According to NASSCOM, around 40% of Indian start-ups were forced to stop their operations. In 2021, mergers and acquisitions of start-ups are expected. The larger companies are likely to target smaller companies, specialised mainly in niche and innovative areas such as drug development, cybersecurity, AI chips, cloud computing, MLOps, etc.

The businesses in 2021 and beyond will develop into efficient workplaces for everybody who believes in the power of technology. It is important to bear in mind that all trends are not necessarily independent of each other, but rather form the support base of the other as well as work in tandem with human intervention. So, are the hybrid trends and solutions here to stay for the next few years for the smooth running of various organisations? Only time will tell. But the need for AI and newer technology adoption and modernisation increases manifold.

The author is an analytics and AI professional, based in London, working in a big IT company. Views are personal

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Tech trends in 2021: How artificial intelligence and technology will reshape businesses - The Financial Express

The silver lining of 2020 – SouthCoastToday.com

Tyler Cowen| Bloomberg Opinion

Columns share an author's personal perspective and are often based on facts in the newspaper's reporting.

For obvious reasons, 2020 will not go down as a good year. At the same time, it has brought more scientific progress than any year in recent memory and these advances will last long after COVID-19 as a major threat is gone.

Two of the most obvious and tangible signs of progress are the mRNA vaccines now being distributed across America and around the world. These vaccines appear to have very high levels of efficacy and safety, and they can be produced more quickly than more conventional vaccines. They are the main reason to have a relatively optimistic outlook for 2021. The mRNA technology also may have broader potential, for instance by helping to mend damaged hearts.

Other advances in the biosciences may prove no less stunning. A very promising vaccine candidate against malaria, perhaps the greatest killer in human history, is in the final stages of testing. Advances in vaccine technology have created the real possibility of a universal flu vaccine, and work is proceeding on that front. New CRISPR techniques appear on the verge of vanquishing sickle-cell anemia, and other CRISPR methods have allowed scientists to create a new smartphone-based diagnostic test that would detect viruses and offer diagnoses within half an hour.

It has been a good year for artificial intelligence as well. GPT-3 technology allows for the creation of remarkably human-like writing of great depth and complexity. It is a major step toward the creation of automated entities that can react in very human ways. DeepMind, meanwhile, has used computational techniques to make major advances in protein folding. This is a breakthrough in biology that may lead to the easier discovery of new pharmaceuticals.

One general precondition behind many of these advances is the decentralized access to enormous computing power, typically through cloud computing. China seems to be progressing with a photon method for quantum computing, a development that is hard to verify but could prove to be of great importance.

Computational biology, in particular, is booming. The Moderna vaccine mRNA was designed in two days, and without access to COVID-19 itself, a remarkable achievement that would not have been possible only a short while ago. This likely heralds the arrival of many other future breakthroughs from computational biology.

Internet access itself will be spreading. Starlink, for example, has a plausible plan to supply satellite-based internet connections to the entire world.

It also has been a good year for progress in transportation.

Driverless vehicles appeared to be stalled, but Walmart will be using them on some truck deliveries in 2021. Boom, a startup that is pushing to develop feasible and affordable supersonic flight, now has a valuation of over $1 billion, with prototypes expected next year. SpaceX achieved virtually every launch and rocket goal it had announced for the year. Toyota and other companies have announced major progress on batteries for electric vehicles, and the related products are expected to debut in 2021.

All this will prove a boon for the environment, as will progress in solar power, which in many settings is as cheap as any relevant alternative. China is opening a new and promising fusion reactor. Despite the absence of a coherent U.S. national energy policy, the notion of a mostly green energy future no longer appears utopian.

In previous eras, advances in energy and transportation typically have brought further technological advances, by enabling humans to conquer and reshape their physical environments in new and unexpected ways. We can hope that general trend will continue.

Finally, while not quite meeting the definition of a scientific advance, the rise of remote work is a real breakthrough. Many more Zoom meetings will be held, and many business trips will never return. Many may see this as a mixed blessing, but it will improve productivity significantly. It will be easier to hire foreign workers, easier for tech or finance workers to move to Miami, and easier to live in New Jersey and commute into Manhattan only once a week. The most productive employees will be able to work from home more easily.

Without a doubt, it has been a tragic year. Alongside the sadness and failure, however, there has been quite a bit of progress. Thats something worth keeping in mind, even if we cant quite bring ourselves to celebrate, as we look back on 2020.

Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."

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The silver lining of 2020 - SouthCoastToday.com

Quantum Computing Technologies Market Size, Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and…

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Malaysia: Leveraging On Digitalisation Trends – The ASEAN Post

Analysts and pundits didnt foresee COVID-19 coming in 2020 and that the virus would accelerate the digitalisation trend a seismic or tectonic shift in its own right resulting from the fragmentation of physical processes and the emphases on a low-touch economy as part of compliance to the standard operating procedures (SOP) to break and contain the transmission of the virus.

Not all digitalisation trends are precipitated (in the sense of having their momentum accelerated) by the unprecedented spread of COVID-19 though, as some would have been in the works for years and the breakthroughs only came this year. Likewise, digitalisation trends for 2021 would also reflect similar developments. That is, COVID-19 would have been the impetus and catalyst in contradistinction from cause for the rise of some digitalisation trends whilst others would have already been pursued beforehand.

Lets take a look at some of the digital lessons from 2020 as well as look ahead to 2021.

Cloud Kitchens

COVID-19 has encouraged and enhanced the use of cloud services for physical operations such as in cloud kitchens. What this means is that cooking and delivery services could be centralised rather than having disparate collection points such as various restaurants. The underlying purpose is that dining-in (front-of-house) areas are removed from the overall business process thus saving on costs labour/manpower, operational, overheads, dining assets, etc.

In Malaysia in particular and the region in general, online food delivery businesses such as GrabFood (through Grab e-Kitchen) and FoodPanda have been leveraging on the cloud kitchen concept due to high demand and cost effectiveness. The cloud kitchen trend which came to the fore in 2020 is expected to grow and expand in the Klang Valley in tandem with the overall growth and explosion of e-commerce in the country.

Theres also the trend of hyperconverged infrastructure/technology (HCI) whereby businesses and enterprises can save costs and physical space too. Data management and cloud specialist Nutanix defines HCI as the combination of common datacentre hardware using locally attached storage resources with intelligent software to create flexible building blocks that replace legacy infrastructure consisting of separate servers, storage networks, and storage arrays.

International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading information and communications technology (ICT) market intelligence firm, has predicted that the HCI market will grow to US$7.64 billion in 2021. In Malaysia, local logistics and express carrier giant Gdex has adopted Nutanix Hybrid Cloud to keep up with demands in e-commerce for scalability and business-to-consumer (B2C) operations.

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality

And then, we have augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) which is making its presence felt in Malaysias tourism sector. Again, COVID-19 has resulted in partial lockdowns or movement control order (MCO) in Malaysias case, which has massively impacted its tourism sector which is the countrys third major export and foreign exchange earner.

AR/VR is a digital gateway and portal to the on-site tourism experience. Used for marketing and promotional purposes, it allows potential on-site tourists to enjoy an audio-visual sampling of the full package on offer the real world, tactual experience. All one needs to access the virtual experience is a smartphone, laptop, tablet or personal computer (PC).

Moving forward, the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) which is basically the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) is making rapid headway. According to futurist Bernard Marr, IoT devices such as sensors, universal remote controllers, and biometric scanners can be likened to a digital nervous system with AI serving as the brain.

When AI is added to the IoT it means that those devices can analyse data and make decisions and act on that data without involvement by humans, explains Marr.

With the advent of 5G technology and smart cities, AIoT is expected to emerge in the near future as part of the new norm in our homes.

Protein Folding

While not exactly a digitalisation trend, the online journal Nature on 30 November reported that after years of pain-staking efforts, an AI called AlphaFold developed by Google offshoot DeepMind has achieved a gargantuan leap in computational biology, namely by determining a proteins 3D shape from its amino-acid sequence or what is popularly known as protein folding where structure is function (an axiom of molecular biology).

As proteins are the building-blocks of life, unravelling their molecular structure would yield insights into the mysteries of life so that finding treatments and cures for intractable diseases such as Parkinsons, producing viral drugs for COVID-19 or identifying suitable enzymes that biodegrade industrial waste, would be possible.

According to the DeepMind website, AlphaFold was taught (via deep learning) by reproducing the sequences and structures of around 100,000 known proteins. Come 2021, we could expect to herald the beginning of a new chapter related to many scientific and industrial applications which hopefully extends to agriculture and food production, air pollution control (carbon capture and storage) and water treatment, among others.

Connected to the AI breakthrough in predicting protein folding is, of course, quantum computingthat represents the leap from bits (binary 0 or 1) to qubits (0 & 1 at the same time) based on quantum physics and mechanics (of the simultaneity-duality of supposition and entanglement). For now, quantum computing can be deployed for complex tasks such as predicting the 3D shape of protein folding and structure.

Blockchain

As for blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is fast making a mark in supply chain management (SCM) with the strategic collaboration between public and private sectors. In Malaysia, the use of blockchain by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) will ease and facilitate import-export transactions of private sector stakeholders (shipping/logistics and traders).

Specifically, the TradeLens platform jointly developed by AP Moller-Maersk and IBM is based on the Collaboration Application Programming Interface (API) concept which ensures that all logistics activities such as haulage, warehousing, shipping and freight forwarding at both, domestic and international levels, can now be wholly integrated.

Notwithstanding, will quantum supremacy which Google had claimed to achieve finally constrain the full potential of blockchain technology? According to Deloitte, someone with an operational quantum computer who has access to the public key (public address) could then falsify the transaction signature known as hashing which is an encryption mechanism (in the form of a cryptographic function) serving as proof of work that is linkable to another block of transaction data (hence forming a blockchain) and therefore hack to gain entry to the private key (i.e., for the purpose of decryption of the signature). Be that as it may, quantum computing could also easily be deployed in blockchain technology to fend off would-be hackers or rogue miners.

Autonomous Driving

And not least, robotic process automation (RPA) is increasingly being used in fintech (financial technology). In its Fintech and Digital Banking 2025 Asia Pacific report, IDC stated that financial liberalisation, drive towards cost-reduction, intense competition from counterparts as well as P2P (peer-to-peer) players, wafer-thin net interest margins, etc. are catalysing banks to further automate, e.g., through RPA software that enables computers to process manual workloads of business processes more efficiently and effectively (such as triggering error-free responses).

Finally, autonomous driving will soon be an in-thing in Malaysia as it is in other parts of the world, not least across the Causeway (in Singapore). Software by eMooVit Technology, a local start-up specialising in driverless agnostic vehicle software for urban environment routes can be used in different applications such as first/last-mile transportation, logistics and utility solutions.

On 23 December last year, eMoovit was reported to be the first company to use Malaysias first self-driving vehicle testing route as announced by Futurise, a wholly-owned subsidiary of technology hub enabler, Cyberview. As reported in the local media, the seven-kilometre Cyberjaya Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) Testing Route was jointly developed by Futurise and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) under the National Regulatory Sandbox (NRS) initiative for the development of autonomous or self-driving vehicles.

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Malaysia: Leveraging On Digitalisation Trends - The ASEAN Post