International Business Machines Corp took another step towards bringing the world of quantum computing to commercial applications — and CEO Ginni Rometty sees real results coming as soon as 2021.
“We’re probably in a two- to five-year time frame that you’ll actually start to see commercial businesses doing real commercial applications,” Rometty said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “And then that means revenue.”
IBM introduced a quantum computing system geared for commercial and scientific use at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. Known as IBM Q System One, it may one day be used to find new ways to model financial data or optimise fleet operations for deliveries, according to a statement from the company.
IBM is locked in a race with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp and others in building machines that businesses can use to solve difficult real-world problems currently beyond the reach of the most powerful conventional supercomputers. But quantum computers are still in the experimental phase. The announcement comes a little more than a year after IBM said it had created a prototype 50 qubit quantum computer, moving it closer to “quantum supremacy.”
Rometty has been trying to steer IBM towards more modern businesses, such as the cloud, quantum computing and artificial intelligence, as she turns the company away from existing hardware, software and services that have been a drag on sales.
Separately, IBM is working with Delta Air Lines Inc. to apply artificial intelligence in customer service and maintenance.