During a thirty minute conversation with a member of Q-munity and Bo Ewald, former CEO of ColdQuanta and D-Wave Systems, we were able to extract the thoughts of Bo’s view of the quantum industry. Throughout the interview, Bo was asked questions similar to the topic of what his thoughts on quantum supremacy exactly is, what he thinks of the fate of quantum computing, and his advice for viewers like you.
Our first question was, “Which industry do you think quantum will advance the most in?”
“I think you'll see the application sort of following a path where it'll be basically quantum computers in the early days. [This] will be great for big, sometimes previously insoluble problems. So, who has those problems? Well, there are places like national laboratories,
Universities, defense, and intelligence leading into the industry. So, I think the first applications of the first big applications of quantum computing will be in national laboratories universities and then leading into the industry.” Bo anticipatorily replied.
His summarized answer to this question was that in the “early days of quantum computing,” as he called it, would soon be beneficial to the military, specifically aerospace and such.
Later, we decided to implore Bo about the importance of cold atom qubits.
Bo informs us: “The qubits need the environment to be very cold. The qubits need to be identical and you need to be able to operate between those qubits. The more qubits that you can have involved in an operation, sort of the more complicated operations that you can do and probably do your calculation faster. You need the qubits to be identical and as close to perfection as you can. So, in our case what we do is use individual atoms as a qubit and I'll show you.”
After this point, Bo exhibits a product ColdQuanta has been developing, and gives us a gesticulation about the in depth of the works of it.
Subsequently, Bo was what his biggest takeaways working for D-wave was. Prior to talking about D-wave, Bo mentions his experience with Richard Feynman, who originally got him into quantum computing.
“You know, I'm going to go back even before d-wave. In 1983, I was at Los alamos national laboratory and it was the 40th anniversary of the creation of Los alamos. one of the early young scientists at Los Alamos in 1943 was a young physicist named Richard Feynman. Those of you who follow quantum computing, of course, will know his name because he was the one who really came up with the idea of trying to build quantum computers in 1982 and 83. So in 1983 at this, it was the 40th birthday party for Los Alamos national lab and Feynman gave a talk. [This was the] first time I'd ever heard of a quantum computer. It was entitled to something like using quantum mechanical laws to build tiny computers. A couple of days later, I took him and other Nobel laureates on a tour of modern computing at Los alamos.
Feynman said to me, and I can't do his Brooklyn accent I'm sorry but he said,
"You know young man someday all of these big crazed supercomputers are going to be replaced by quantum computers" and [that is] the only time I ever talked to Richard Feynman. I don't even know what I said back, it was something dumb I'm sure. That was sort of
What first introduced me to quantum, the idea at least of quantum computers.”
Bo answered many more questions regarding the quantum industry, including: addressing misconceptions about quantum computing, advice he has for the youth, his journey to CEO of two of the biggest quantum companies, and more. To listen in on these, click here.
Special announcement: Many of you may have heard that Bo Ewald has retired from his position of CEO. We were able to conduct this interview before this news broke out. We would like to give a special thank you to him, as well as the great lifetime of achievements he has finished with. Good luck, Bo!
A last note from Bo: “Thanks to everybody and good luck. We'll see you out there in the quantum space.”