ICHEC at the 2nd All Ireland Conference on Quantum Technologies

Dr. Venkatesh Kannan

The 2nd All Ireland Conference on Quantum Technologies took place at Maynooth University in 2019. Dr. Venkatesh Kannan, who leads the centre's Novel Technologies Activities, outlined current activities in Quantum Technology.

"At ICHEC, work has begun on programming quantum computing platforms for practical use-cases," he said. "Moving forward, we will be working on a variety of quantum computing platforms - hardware devices and software simulators - and developing quantum software on them by leveraging the plethora of application domains in which we already work."

"ICHEC's quantum programming efforts are aimed at evaluating the programmability of different quantum platforms that are out there, and understanding the types and sizes of problems that they can currently solve."

While many enterprises including Intel, IBM, Google, and others, have been developing physical quantum computing devices, software quantum simulators are another line of quantum computing platforms. One project that ICHEC is working on will use a software quantum simulator to conduct research in Natural Language Processing (NLP), the computing field involved with the interactions between computers and human languages. In particular, the project will focus on an aspect of NLP known as compositional semantics algorithms, which describes how information flows between words in a sentence to determine the sentence's meaning.

"With the immediate availability of quantum simulators, it is essential that we develop the software ecosystem and programming expertise to target quantum platforms. It is crucial to do this simultaneously with ongoing efforts for developing larger-scale, reliable and commercially deployable quantum computers in the next decade," said Dr. Kannan.

"At ICHEC we are pioneering the efforts in programming quantum systems in Ireland."

Other speakers at the event included Prof. Tommaso Calarco, from the Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany, Stephen O'Reilly, Enterprise Ireland's National Delegate and National Contact Point for H2020, ICT & FET, and Dr. Jiri Vala, at the Department of Theoretical Physics, Maynooth University, who organised the event.

More on ICHEC's quantum activities to come soon.

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