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larger tech companies, but it has also lured some away from big companies and startups, he says. He expresses confidence that Zapata has assembled one of the best teams in the nascent industry, with several PhD-holding scientists who have co-written papers on quantum technologies.
“There are only a limited number of people who have written novel algorithms for NISQ devices,” Savoie says. “They do not grow on trees.”
Savoie wouldn’t go into detail about the projects Zapata is working on for its clients, citing non-disclosure agreements. But, generally speaking, he says the coming generation of quantum computers will be able, for example, to help businesses improve their operational efficiency (think supply-chain scheduling) and enable machine learning networks to classify data better.
“Really what we’re talking about is accessing probability distributions that just don’t exist on classical computers,” Savoie says, referring to an advantage of quantum tech. It’s notable that he says the quantum hardware will be used as a “co-processor” in tandem with classical computers, at least for the foreseeable future.
Some of Zapata’s prospective clients have concluded they want to wait on the sidelines until quantum computing technology has matured more, and then they’ll spend heavily to catch up. Other companies are investing in the technology now because they think it has the potential to transform their sector—and they want to get ahead of that potential disruption, Savoie says.