Amazon Just Joined The Race To Dominate Quantum Computing In The Cloud – Forbes

AWS stand at the 2019 Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon.

The news: Amazons cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS), unveiled a new service called Amazon Braket at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today. The offering, which is now being made available to some select customers, lets researchers and developers build quantum algorithms and test them on simulated quantum computers. They can also run them on actual quantum machines from three companies: IonQ and Rigetti Computing of the U.S, and Canadas D-Wave.

Why it matters: Quantum computers promise to deliver exponential leaps in processing power by tapping some of the almost mystical properties of quantum mechanics. The hope is they will spark new advances in a number of areas, such as drug discovery and artificial intelligence, but they have yet to do anything really useful. AWSs dive into the market is the latest sign their potential is nevertheless being taken very seriously.

Join the quantum queue: AWS is something of a latecomer to the quantum cloud. IBM kicked off the trend several years ago, and since then a wave of other companies have unveiled cloud-based offerings, including Amazons partners D-Wave and Rigetti. Nor is AWS the first cloud provider to offer access to a range of other companies quantum hardware: Microsoft took that honor when it launched its Azure Quantum cloud offering last month. Yet AWS is likely to become a force to be reckoned with in the field because of a unique advantage it has over its rivals.

A quantum road test? AWS became a cloud powerhouse because many of the services it now offers were initially developed for Amazons vast commercial empire. The same scenario could well play out with quantum computing.

For instance, one of the things quantum machines are particularly good at is optimizing delivery routes. AWS couldquite literallyroad test a quantum-powered service that lets Amazon plot the most efficient directions for its delivery vehicles to take as they drop off parcels. The machines could also help Amazon optimize the way goods flow through its vast warehouse network. AWS could then commercialize the services via the cloud, armed with reams of evidence about their effectiveness from its parent company.

Center forward: AWS has also been adept at tapping into some of the brightest minds in rapidly emerging areas such as AI. Two additional announcements made at re:Invent today signal it intends to do the same thing in the quantum arena. AWS said it is:

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Amazon Just Joined The Race To Dominate Quantum Computing In The Cloud - Forbes

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