Quantum computers are especially well suited for sorting complex problems. However, as the technology matures, applications that have not yet been imagined will emerge.
- Cybersecurity and encryption
Cybersecurity has never been more important, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic when people are still working outside of relatively secure office environments. The number of attacks is increasing daily basis, with ransomware as a service (RaaS) lowering the entry barriers for cybercriminals. The NCSC (National Cyber Security Center) of the United Kingdom reported recently that ransomware attacks have more than doubled in the last year.
- Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Focusing on identifying molecules with the potential to cure disease is central to what pharmaceutical companies do. Currently, they use traditional computers to process molecules in a process known as computer-assisted drug discovery (CADD). Even so, these computer systems are extremely limited, with calculations to accurately predict the behavior of even medium-sized particles taking many years.
- Financial Analysis
Hedge funds, investment banks, and retail investors trade millions of stocks every second in today’s financial markets, which are extremely complex.
Finding the right blend of investments on the basis of foreseen returns and risk is one of the most difficult challenges for investors. This entails examining thousands of variables that could influence stock prices. Even minor gains can be worth thousands of dollars for those who manage extremely large portfolios. One advantage that quantum computing could provide is in the area of algorithmic trading.
- Optimization of Traffic
Increasing population and congestion pose significant challenges, particularly in large conurbations.
Smart cities, in which everything from garbage collection to the flow of traffic can be managed using IoT sensors in conjunction with Machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, are becoming more common. However, the amount of data that must be processed at the same time shows that old computer systems may struggle to keep up in the long run.
- Weather Prediction
Previously uncommon weather patterns, such as heatwaves, tornadoes, and hurricanes, are becoming more common. Fortunately, sophisticated computational models that can help predict these events have been developed.
These can analyze massive amounts of data containing various variables such as air temperature, pressure, and density. However, in a world of constantly changing weather patterns, using traditional computers, even supercomputers, to develop climate prediction models has limitations.