Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

Issue link: https://cpapracticeadvisor.epubxp.com/i/1051460

14 NOVEMBER 2018 ■ www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com FROM THE TRENCHES WHY AND HOW: QUANTUM COMPUTING RANDY JOHNSTON EVP & Partner K2 Enterprises & CEO of Network Management Group, Inc. randy.johnston@cpapracticeadvisor.com @RPJohnston You are likely to have seen all the information you need on the new iPhone, Google Pixel 3, Surface Pro 6, and Office 2019 as well as the outcomes of the CCH, Thomson and Intuit user conferences, although if the reviews are not factual enough for me, you’ll see me pause this Emerging Technology series to identify the facts that matter for the practice of accounting. While Quantum Computing is not ready for prime time, there is plenty of excitement among developers and the major technology providers including, but not limited to IBM, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and some other significant players that you probably won’t recognize like D-Wave and Rigetti Forest. If the developers are successful, Quantum Computing will change the future and direction of computing for many generations. As a trained computer scientist, my expectation and that of protagonists says that Quantum Computing will be able to break all encryption in use today, can tamper with most blockchain implementations, can outperform any current computing hardware (typically known as Von Neumann computing based on the design from the 1940’s used by all computers and smartphones today), and has many operational attributes of interest that improve centralized, cloud computing. Antagonists claim that Quantum Computing capabilities are overstated, that the environment is too difficult to use, and that the technical difficulties will not be overcome. Let me back up my hair-brained statements with some observations. What? For more information about building Quantum Computing, consider the following references: ■ A classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit is represented by either a one or a zero. A quantum computer maintains a sequence of qubits, read ket 0 and ket 1 ■ A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of those two qubit states. A pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states and three qubits in any superposition of 8 states. In addition, the following will factors will impact the world of Quantum Computing: ■ Compilers and software are being improved to run on the new quantum hardware from a number of suppliers ■ Software is different including: quantum algorithms, universal quantum computer, Shor’s algorithm (factoring), Grover’s algorithm (unstructured database), Deutsch–Jozsa algorithm, amplitude amplification, quantum Fourier transform, quantum gate, quantum adiabatic algorithm and quantum error correction ■ These algorithms are exponentially or quadratically faster How? So how does the Quantum Computing approach work? Physicists and computer scientists look at the properties of atoms and detect or predict the position of various particles mathematically. There are various approaches being used including: photons, coherent state of light, electrons, Nucleus, Optical lattices, Joseph junctions (super conductors of charge, flux or phase), Singly charged quantum dot pairs, or Quantum dots. What does this mean to the practice of accounting and to accountants? Our centralized applications will run on these platforms, currently in use by IBM, Google, NASA, and other large entities. As we mentioned above, we have several working examples and production models available: ■ D-Wave – Makes a 2,000 qubit machine that currently costs roughly $15,000,000 ■ IBM Q – recently 50-Qubit ■ Google – Quantum AI – 72 qubits ■ Intel - 49-qubit Tangle Lake ■ Microsoft ■ Rigetti Forest ■ According to the Financial Times, expect big leaps in qubits in 2018. There will be even greater progress in 2019 and beyond Implementing Quantum Computing can take extremely large calculations and complete them more rapidly. Quantum Computing is being used in very complex models today, such as Weather.com by IBM. Developers are working on compilers and algorithms to make these machines work properly. From my view, Quantum Computers are at