JILA Fellow Dana Anderson Speaks on Quantum Computing at the 2024 Conference of World Affairs

Submitted by kennac on Thu, 04/11/2024 - 2:39 pm

(L to R): JILA Fellow and CU Boulder Engineering professor and CSO of Infleqtion Dana Anderson listens to Maybell Quantum CEO and Founder Corban Tillmann-Dick respond to a question from the moderator at the Conference of World Affairs in April 2024. 

Image Credit
Kenna Hughes-Castleberry/JILA

At the 2024 Conference of World Affairs, held at the University of Colorado Boulder, two prominent figures in the Colorado quantum industry shared their insights into the rapidly evolving quantum technology landscape. Dana Anderson, a JILA Fellow, CU Boulder professor of Electrical Engineering, and the CSO of Infleqtion (previously ColdQuanta), joined forces with Corban Tillman-Dick, CEO and Founder of Maybell and chair of Elevate Quantum, a consortium of over 80 quantum-focused companies in Colorado.

Tillman-Dick emphasized Colorado's leadership in quantum sciences, stating, "Colorado is the quantum state, as over four Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Colorado scientists since 2000." He further highlighted the state's burgeoning quantum ecosystem, noting that "Colorado has more quantum organizations than California" and celebrating its status as a burgeoning tech hub poised to attract more funding and jobs to the region.

Dana Anderson discussed the tangible applications of quantum technology that already impact our world, such as the atomic clock. He explained that these clocks can help with navigation but can also be used to measure Earth's gravity, which can help better monitor the effects of climate change, such as the melting of polar ice. 

The conversation also delved into the broader applications of quantum technology beyond computing. Anderson emphasized the importance of educational initiatives that allow students to interact with quantum computers, pointing to accessible platforms like those provided by IBM, AWS, and Infleqtion's Oqtant program. With an eye on the future, Anderson predicted, "Quantum will be as much of a household word as gigabyte."

Furthermore, Tillman-Dick pointed out that while the U.S. is a leader in quantum computing, continuous investments and the development of educational pipelines are crucial for maintaining this leadership.

Both speakers addressed the symbiotic relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technology. They noted that quantum technology could enhance AI's efficiency and reduce energy consumption. 

As the discussion concluded, Anderson reflected on the nascent state of quantum technologies, saying, "Everything you see about quantum is extremely primitive, as it's early days." However, his final remark, "It's an exciting time to be in quantum," captured the optimistic spirit and potential quantum technology holds for the future.

Written by Kenna Hughes-Castleberry

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