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Tech Mahindra, BosonQ Psi to Move AI to Quantum

Nikhil Malhotra from Tech Mahindra and Aditya Singh from BosonQ Psi spoke with AIM to discuss the future of quantum and its convergence with AI.

By- Analytics India Magazine

The Indian government’s allocation of INR 6,000 crore (approximately $800 million) in April for quantum computing startups reflects its recognition of the potential of this technology. However, to foster a thriving quantum ecosystem in India, efforts must extend beyond funding.

Recognizing the immense potential and need of quantum computing, Tech Mahindra, the IT giant, has formed a strategic partnership with BosonQ Psi, a pioneering quantum computing startup in India. AIM caught up with Nikhil Malhotra, chief innovation officer at Tech Mahindra and creator of Makers’ Lab and Aditya Singh, one of the founding members and head of growth and infrastructure of BosonQ Psi to understand the vision and scope of the partnership.

Together, they aim to harness the power of quantum software and advance the realms of computing and post-quantum cryptography.

Malhotra said that while quantum computing encompasses various applications such as communication and sensing, the partnership between Tech Mahindra and BosonQ Psi focuses on exploring the practical use cases and driving innovation. Their collaboration extends to both scientific and business domains, spanning areas like drug discovery in healthcare, untapped opportunities in the telecom sector, and simulation-based optimisation for personalised customer experiences and network design. By leveraging BosonQ Psi’s expertise in software simulation, Tech Mahindra aims to deliver cutting-edge solutions to its customers.

Currently, BosonQ Psi is in the process of developing BQPhy®, an innovative software suite that utilises quantum power to deliver simulation-as-a-service (Q-SaaS). The groundbreaking software suite will offer unparalleled computational benefits in a wide range of engineering simulation domains. Currently, it offers functionalities in structural mechanics, thermal sciences, and design optimisation.

Malhotra explains that Tech Mahindra’s decision to partner with BosonQ Psi was driven by the startup’s exceptional prowess in software simulation, a critical aspect for digital twin creation and growth. “While hardware providers like IBM have made significant strides in quantum technology, there are few software providers operating in this niche domain,” he said, emphasising that BosonQ Psi has carved out a unique position in this arena.

Boosting AI with Quantum

Tech Mahindra had been actively involved in the development of generative AI even prior to the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The company’s innovative Storicool platform, an automatic content creation tool, was regarded as ahead of its time by CP Gurnani, the chief executive of Tech Mahindra.

In April of this year, Tech Mahindra introduced its Generative AI Studio as part of its comprehensive suite of AI offerings and solutions known as amplifAI0->∞.

Now, this partnership opens doors to explore synergies between quantum computing and AI. Malhotra said, “It is important to note the large amount of energy that is being utilised in these AI systems, and this is where quantum neural networks, conversational systems, and sequence systems hold promise in AI.”

Although he admits that further research and development are required to fully realise their potential. Preliminary studies are already underway to uncover the applications of quantum in language-related fields, hinting at a future where quantum-powered AI becomes a reality.

Aligned in their vision of moving beyond just being consultancy services, Tech Mahindra seeks to commercialise quantum computing and apply this transformative technology to benefit their customers. Malhotra said that a lot of customers want Tech Mahindra to explore this field and reap the benefits.

The collaboration between Tech Mahindra’s research and development wing, Makers Lab, and BosonQ Psi was built on the shared ideology of translational research, translating cutting-edge innovations into practical solutions. With a customer-centric approach, Tech Mahindra aims to showcase the possibilities of quantum computing and its tangible impact, going beyond mere consultancy services.

Quantum, revenue, and India

Speaking with AIM, Mark Mattingley-Scott, chief revenue officer at Quantum Brilliance, said that generating revenue in a quantum startup depends on when we reach the final commercial state of quantum which might take a few more years from now.

Similar views were expressed by Singh from BosonQ Psi. The company is targeting the commercialisation of its quantum solutions this year. By collaborating with Tech Mahindra instead of independently pursuing hardware development, the startup can focus on utilising quantum capabilities to benefit clients. This strategic approach ensures that customers can experience the advantages of quantum computing when the hardware is ready for deployment.

Tech Mahindra’s previous partnership with IBM Quantum, as well as their collaboration with IQM, highlights the company’s commitment to exploring different quantum hardware options and leveraging each for specific use cases. IQM’s unique hardware offerings, such as their demonstration of a high-value introduction of quantum volume, make them a natural fit for Tech Mahindra’s software layer development. The addition of BosonQ Psi to this equation brings valuable software expertise, resulting in a partnership that combines the best of both worlds—software and hardware—for transformative quantum solutions.

“Quantum still remains a far off field for Indian IT giants,” said Malhotra. A comprehensive approach encompassing quantum research, education, industry partnerships, and understanding the needs of startups is essential. By nurturing this ecosystem, India can emerge as a global leader in quantum computing, capitalising on its unique challenges and diverse linguistic landscape to develop novel algorithms and transformative solutions. “The Indian government wants to build its own hardware just like any other government. We need a good think tank within India to build that,” concluded Singh.

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