/Quantum Computing Holds Promise for Banks, Executives Say (via Qpute.com)

Quantum Computing Holds Promise for Banks, Executives Say (via Qpute.com)


BROOKLYN, N.Y.—When quantum computing hits the market, the financial-services industry could be the first to benefit, a

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

executive said at a quantum-computing panel event.

“In the universe of industries where there is a potential quantum advantage, you could argue that finance has got the shortest path to impact,” said

Jeremy Glick,

head of research-and-development engineering at Goldman Sachs.

That’s because a quantum algorithm could be deployed to a new financial model in days or weeks, while approving a new material or drug discovered by a quantum computer is likely to take years, he said at Thursday’s event, hosted by

International Business Machines Corp.

But there’s a catch. Two, actually. First, no one is sure exactly how quantum computing could transform finance. “I think the big win is finding something entirely new, and we haven’t found that yet,” Mr. Glick said.

The second catch concerns quantum computing itself. Quantum computers promise to be extremely powerful—but no commercial-grade quantum machine has been built yet, although IBM and other companies are developing the hardware necessary to combat technical challenges.

Onstage at an IBM quantum-computing event in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday, from left: Katie Pizzolato, director, IBM QStart; Jeremy Glick, head of research-and-development engineering, Goldman Sachs; Nikitas Stamatopoulos, vice president, quantitative research, JPMorgan Chase; and Stefan Woerner, global leader, quantum finance and optimization, IBM.


Photo:

Sara Castellanos / The Wall Street Journal

With ideas at a premium and the hardware still to come, one thing the finance industry can do is to gain the skills necessary to be “quantum-conversant,” Mr. Glick said, meaning professionals need to be well-versed in quantum computing and how the technology can be applied to finance and other industries.

College students could, for example, study quantum computing as a minor and then work with banks and regulators on applications, he said.

JPMorgan Chase

& Co. is working to cultivate quantum-computing skills for some employees,

Nikitas Stamatopoulos,

the bank’s vice president of quantitative research, said at the event.

Since late 2017, JPMorgan has been collaborating with researchers at IBM to experiment with quantum computing. A working group from the bank has been running tests via the cloud on IBM’s early-stage quantum-computing machine, suitable for small-scale experiments.

The team has found that quantum computing could be used to speed up computationally intensive option-pricing and risk-assessment calculations.

But it’s still in the early stages of discovering what’s possible, because a commercial-grade quantum computer hasn’t been built. “If we had one today, what would we do? The answer today is not very clear,” Mr. Stamatopoulos said.

Write to Sara Castellanos at [email protected]

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