News & Views
What Role Does Quantum Computing and AI Play in Labs?
Oct 24 2021
Over the past decade, quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI) have become commonplace in laboratories around the world. Below, we explore the role these exciting new technologies play in labs and how they’re reimagining the capabilities of modern science.
Detecting blood cancers
Artificial intelligence is transforming public healthcare, with a recent development at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centre using AI blood testing technology to detect lung cancer in blood samples. With a success rate of more than 90%, the technology has exciting implications for cancer diagnosis. Fast, cost-effective and non-invasive, the team predict DELFI technology will become gold standard for detecting early-stage cancers.
Computer hardware company IBM is equipping Mercedes Benz research laboratories with advanced quantum computers designed to usher in a new generation of EV battery technology. As the luxury German auto manufacturer explores energy-dense battery technologies such as lithium-sulfur (Li-S), quantum computing will be used to simulate molecular properties, track behaviours and analyse performance before advancing to the prototype stages.
“The hope is that, as this happens, quantum computers can greatly speed the simulation process – not to mention dozens of other data-intensive tasks, with applications across every industry,” states the IBM website. “Working with Mercedes-Benz on real-world battery research is just one aspect of the foundational work that will eventually bring quantum computing to commercial fruition.
Google spearheads a new era of quantum computing
Google is a pioneer of quantum computing, with the tech giant operating its very own state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the field. Already, the company has built a quantum computer with the capacity to complete an ultra-complex calculation in just 200 seconds. This slashes the 10,000 year timeframe it would take for a conventional supercomputer to complete the same calculation.
AI blasts off with NASA
Artificial Intelligence isn’t just advancing science on Planet Earth, it’s also being utilised by NASA to enhance and calibrate images of the sun. The high-definition technique was introduced in an article published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, with the team aiming to address issues encountered when using instruments such as the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and “develop a novel method based on machine learning (ML) that exploits spatial patterns on the solar surface across multiwavelength observations to auto calibrate the instrument degradation.”
This year, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory uncovered new insight into quantum computing, using a direct visualisation method to observe a tiny quantum electronic device. Find out more about the breakthrough in ‘Quantum Electronics – Revealing Potential Capability’.
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