QUANTUM COMPUTING – THE UNEXPLORED MIRACLE

What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. A quantum computer is specifically used to perform such calculation, which can be implemented theoretically or physically. The field of quantum computing is a sub-field of quantum information science, which includes quantum cryptography and quantum communication. The idea of Quantum Computing took shape in the early 1980s when Richard Feynman and Yuri Manin expressed the idea that a quantum computer had the potential to simulate things that a classical computer could not.

The year 1994 saw further development of Quantum Computing when Peter Shor published an algorithm that was able to efficiently solve problems that were being used in asymmetric cryptography that were considered very hard for a classical computer. There are currently two main approaches to physically implementing a quantum computer: analog and digital. Analogue methods are further divided into the quantum simulation, quantum annealing, and adiabatic quantum-computation.

Basic Fundamentals of Quantum Computing
Digital quantum computers use quantum logic gates to do computation. Both approaches use quantum bits or qubits. These qubits are fundamental to Quantum Computing and are somewhat analogous to bits in a classical computer. Like a regular bit, Qubit resides in either 0 or 1 state. The specialty is that they can also be in the superposition of 1 and 0 states. However, when qubits are measured, the result is always either a 0 or a 1; the probabilities of the two outcomes depends on the quantum state they were in.

Principle of Operation of Quantum Computing
A quantum computer with a given number of quantum bits is fundamentally very different from a classical computer composed of the same number of bits. For example, representing the state of an n-qubit system on a traditional computer requires the storage of 2n complex coefficients, while to characterize the state of a classical n-bit system it is sufficient to provide the values of the n bits, that is, only n numbers.

A classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit is represented by either a one or a zero. A quantum computer, on the other hand, maintains a sequence of qubits, which can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of those two qubit states; a pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states, and three qubits in any superposition of 8 states. In general, a quantum computer with n qubits can be in any superposition of up to different states. Quantum algorithms are often probabilistic, as they provide the correct solution only with a certain known probability.

What is the Potential that Quantum Computing offers?
Quantum Computing is such a unique field that very few people show their interest in it. There is a lot of room for development. It has a lot of scope. Some of the areas in which this is penetrating today are:

  • Cryptography – A quantum computer could efficiently solve this problem using multiple algorithms. This ability would allow a quantum computer to break many of the cryptographic systems in use today
  • Quantum SearchQuantum computers offer polynomial speedup for some problems. The most well-known example of this is quantum database search, which can be solved by Grover’s algorithm using quadratically fewer queries to the database than that is required by classical algorithms.
  • Quantum Simulation – Since chemistry and nanotechnology rely on understanding quantum systems, and such systems are impossible to simulate efficiently classically, many believe quantum simulation will be one of the most important applications of quantum computing.
  • Quantum Annealing and Adiabatic Optimization
  • Solving Linear Equations – The Quantum algorithm for linear systems of equations or “HHL Algorithm,” named after its discoverers Harrow, Hassidim, and Lloyd, is expected to provide speedup over classical counterparts.
  • Quantum Supremacy

In conclusion, Quantum computers could spur the development of breakthroughs in science, medication to save lives, machine learning methods to diagnose illnesses sooner, materials to make more efficient devices and structures, financial strategies to live well in retirement, and algorithms to direct resources such as ambulances quickly.  The scope of Quantum Computing is beyond imagination. Further developments in this field will have a significant impact on the world.

AR IN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY

What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality abbreviated as AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. The information can be additive (adding more feel to the environment) or destructive (masking off the unnecessary natural environment).

Some common examples of the vast use of AR are mobile games like Pokemon Go and the popular social media photo app, Snapchat. These apps use AR for analyzing real-time user surroundings and further enhance user experience.

AR exhibits certain similarities with VR but has quite a few differences as well. Virtual Reality (VR) is entirely based on the virtual reception of the information, while in Augmented Reality (AR), the user is provided with more computer-generated information that enhances the perception of reality.

Taking a real-life example, VR can be used to create a walk-through simulation of a building under construction while AR can be used to show the building’s structures on a live view.

Uses of AR in Education
The field of AR recently showed some massive development after the immense popularity of apps like Pokemon Go. Recent upgrades have started to find its uses in the vast education industry. The traditional method of education is slowly becoming obsolete, and with the increasing technological growth, the education system is being digitized. The education technology industry giant, namely EdTech, is slowly adopting the use of AR and is predicted to reach around $252 billion by 2020, growing at a 17% annual rate.

Augmented Reality serves several purposes. It helps the students acquire, remember, and process the information. Additionally, AR makes learning easy and fun. Its use is not limited to the pre-school level but can be used equally till college and even at work.

Benefits of Augmented Reality
Due to a large number of benefits of Augmented Reality, its usage has become very frequent in learning. Its main advantages are –

  • Accessibility of Material – Augmented reality has the unique potential to replace the traditional paper textbooks, physical models, or printed manuals. It offers portable and less expensive learning materials. As a result of this, education becomes more accessible and mobile.
  • No special equipment requirements – Apart from a typical smartphone, Augmented Reality doesn’t need any more sophisticated equipment as in the case of VR.
  • Higher Engagement and Interest – Interactive AR based learning has a significant impact on students helping them in understanding and remembering the concepts for a more extended period.
  • Faster and effective Learning Process – Through visualization and immersion in the subject, AR ensures that the concept is deeply instilled in mind. A picture is worth a thousand words, Isn’t it? So instead of thousands of words of theory, the user can visualize the matter with their own eyes.
  • Practical Learning – The use of AR in professional learning gives an accurate reproduction of in-field conditions that can help in mastering the practical skills required for a specific job.
  • Improved Collaboration Capabilities – AR offers vast opportunities to diversify and shake up boing classes. Interactive lessons involving the whole level at the same time help in building qualities of team-work.
  • Safe and Efficient Workplace – Consider the field of heart surgery or a Space Shuttle. Without the introduction of actual dangerous equipment, the students can be taught in real life, how to solve problems.
  • Universality – Augmented Reality applies to any form of education and can significantly enhance the learning experience.

Challenges faced by Augmented Reality

There are certain challenges that you should take into account while using Augmented Reality:

  • Necessary Training Required – Conventional Teachers can find it difficult using new technologies into practice. Only the innovative and open-minded teachers will be ready to apply Augmented Reality in education.
  • Hardware Dependency – Requirement of AR equipment is necessary to make full use of this technology. All the students might not have a smartphone capable of supporting AR applications.
  • Platform-Based Issues – The AR app built must run equally well on the various available platforms.

 

Examples and Use Cases

The most popular application of Augmented Reality is unarguably in the field of education.

  1. It can help a teacher explain using a visual representation of the subject, which would help the students understand a subject better.
  2. Another case of Augmented Reality is distance learning. Students can learn even outside the classroom anytime, anywhere.

 

On a final note, Augmented Reality is a blessing in the education industry. It is not only beneficial to the students but also makes the work of teachers more comfortable and convenient.

We at #Xaltius are creating a Mobile Application using AR called FastLearnAR which will help students learn about various kinds of real world equipment (like microscope, machines) faster and in a real live setting. If you are keen on partnering and working together get in touch with us today!

A DEEP INSIGHT INTO VIRTUAL REALITY

­­Virtual Reality (VR) is coined from the combination of two words – ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’. Virtual as from definition means near, and Reality is what we experience in our daily life. You probably won’t do things like diving deep in the oceans, standing beside a volcano, or going on a voyage to Antarctica, but with Virtual Reality, you might be able to do it all without even leaving your cozy sofa. Virtual reality is created in the real world using high-performance computers and some sensory equipment, like headset and gloves. The idea of VR was originated in the minds of the great Thomas Edison, who pioneered it with the name “Kinetograph.”

Virtual reality (VR) finds its application in the educational field (e.g., military training, or pilots) and is extensively used in the gaming industry. VR systems use either the Virtual reality headsets for a portable VR experience or multi-projected environments for generating realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that ensure a user’s physical presence in a virtual environment. A person using VR can look around 360 degrees and can move around. This virtual effect is mainly created by the VR headsets that consist of a head-mounted display, with a small screen in the front of the eyes. Virtual Reality usually packages auditory as well as video feedback.

Experiencing Virtual Reality can be categorized into the following types:

  • Fully Immersive – Three things help in fulfilling a complete VR experience, a computer model, a powerful computer that can adjust to the actions made by the user, and some surround-sound loudspeakers.
  • NonImmersiveAn alternative way is using a widescreen and using headphones. It doesn’t fully immerse a user, though it is a kind of Virtual reality.
  • Collaborative – The virtual experience is the same as in the fully immersive state, but it offers the idea of sharing the virtual world with other people.
  • Web-based This is a web-based virtual reality analogous to HTML namely VRML (Virtual reality markup language)
  • Augmented Reality – Mobile devices nowadays are as capable as computers used to be. It spawned the idea of Augmented Reality (AR). There are close links between AR and VR.

With the introduction of power packed features in personal computers and smartphones, Virtual Reality devices saw a significant development and grew rapidly. On a large scale, Virtual Reality is used in the entertainment industry, particularly in the gaming industry for the enhanced gaming experience.

Which devices are used for VR on a Commercial Scale?

Datagloves

Giving people the ability to touch objects and feel things in the virtual world is one of the most significant achievements of the VR industry. One technical method of implementing this is using fiber-optic cables that records the data about how much a finger is stretched. Other technologies include strain gauges, electromechanical devices, or the piezoelectrical sensors to measure the finger movements.

Head-Mounted Display(HMDs)

It is the most critical component for a VR experience. The difference between a computer and a VR is the presence of a 3D screen on a VR screen which moves according to the user movements. The HMD looks like a giant motorbike helmet, which consists of two screens, a blackout blindfold that blocks outwards light and stereo headphones (not necessarily). They usually have built-in accelerometers that keep a check on the user’s movement and the direction.

Wands

Even more straightforward than a dataglove, a wand is like a stick that can be used to touch, to point to, or to otherwise interact with a virtual world. It has the position sensors or the motion sensors (such as accelerometers) built-in, along with some mouse-like buttons or scroll wheels. The advantage that the wands take over the conventional VR equipment is that they are wireless.

Concluding, Virtual Reality is instrumental in the gaming industry and the commercial use of Virtual Reality for the education industry for pilots and military training is a very creative use of VR. It is also extensively used for enhanced entertainment purposes for short VR shows for a deep insight into Virtual Reality.

A long time ago, the VR equipment was very costly for its personal use. However, the recent VR equipment by Google, namely Google Cards is a cheap and efficient solution for experiencing Virtual Reality in your own home. The future of VR industry seems very bright for extensive development.

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AI POWERED WAREHOUSE OPTIMIZATION

Artificial Intelligence is creating waves of disruption across many industries, be it manufacturing or human resources (HR). One of the major industries which AI has penetrated today is supply chain and logistics. Experts say that by 2020, AI could be completely transforming warehouse operations, with improvements in efficiency, profits and targets. The warehouse powered by AI would become more responsive and dynamic.

How can AI help in Warehouse Optimization?

One way through which AI can optimize the warehouse is by increasing the productivity of their workforce, especially warehouses that deals with regular pick and pack operations. Another way would be to use AI to enhance the communication between different operational departments, which would in turn ensure a smooth running of day-to-day tasks. For example, online supermarket Ocado uses robots that can converse back-and-forth at a very short span of time, thus eliminating various human inaccuracies.

This would help in achieving overall targets and ensuring that the tasks are completed, while using time efficiently.

Multiple operations in the supply chain industry are expected to become fully automated by 2030. Predictable physical activities can easily be replaced by smart machines, saving time and money usually spent on wages, human mistakes, lunch breaks among various others. Robots, such as Amazon’s Kiva robots, can pick up goods and distribute them to different stations within a warehouse in mere minutes, and only needs five minutes to charge every hour.

Although 30% of jobs have the potential to become automated, employees are not expected to be fully replaced by robots. Automation will be integrated into current operations to be used as an aid; something to work alongside workers and help with routine tasks.

How is AI useful in data processing and mining?

Another area that AI can efficiently take over is the task of processing data and collecting data obtained from different warehouse operations. Complex operations can be captured and used to recognize patterns, regularities, and interdependencies from unstructured data. A smart warehouse will then be able to adapt, dynamically and independently, to new situations within the entire logistics system. Data thus collected can be analyzed to arrive at better and improved business strategies that use AI to their advantage.

To conclude

Machine learning algorithms and AI can be implemented in warehouse operations and supply chain so that they are able to anticipate situations, and solve problems efficiently. Thus, decisions are made in a short time.

AI can use the real-time insights gathered at every touch point in the warehouse’s workflow, to improve inventory accuracy and increase turns. Warehouse activities can therefore be actively monitored, while anticipating the workflow and proactively recommending optimizations.

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AI IN 2019 – EXCITING TIMES AHEAD

Industry 4.0, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning goes beyond anything dreamed up during previous technological revolutions. The future would bring forth a world where machines not only do the physical labor, but are also in charge for the ideas- planning, strategizing and making decisions. Artificial intelligence has brought forward such advancements in industries that the furor surrounding it still continues in 2019.

So what does 2019 have in store?

The year 2019 will probably witness increased emphasis on measures designed to increase the transparency of AI. Considering a case, IBM recently unveiled technology developed to improve the traceability of decisions into its AI OpenScale technology. Bernard Marr writes in Forbes that “This concept gives real-time insights into not only what decisions are being made, but how they are being made, drawing connections between data that is used, decision weighting and potential for bias in information.”

Research and business will also benefit from openness which exposes bias in data or algorithms. This would also solve the ‘black box problem’, where the workings powered by AI seem unfathomable without a thorough understanding of what it’s actually doing. Hence it will be comfortably accepted in the wider society.

The next step would be a deeper infiltration of AI and automation into every business. In 2018, companies began to get a firmer grip on the realities of what AI can and can’t do. Retailers are proficient at grabbing data through receipts and loyalty programs and feeding it into AI engines to work out how to get better at selling us things. Manufacturers use predictive technology to know when a repair is required or when a machine will wear out. In 2019, this technology would be much more trustworthy, as it would be revamped with the learnings it has picked up in its initial deployments.

Business Line says that by 2019, at least 25 percent of employees at all large corporations will communicate with a bot for information. More than half of organizations have invested in VCAs for customer service, as they realize the advantages of automated self-service and the ability to escalate to a human in complex situations

An AI assistant can also semantically understand job descriptions that is fed in and finds relevant matches for the requirement from available job portals and databases. A hiring assistant can also reach out to identified candidates and engage in a chat to pre-qualify them as per company requirements.

AI is out there, ready to be consumed by startups and corporations alike, to solve almost any problem from commuting to visualizing, replacing many mundane human tasks with efficient machines and leaving us humans to make more complex decisions. O’Reilly data says that 51 percent of surveyed organizations already use data science teams to develop AI solutions for internal purposes. Adoption of AI tools would be one the most important AI trends in 2019. Let us wait and watch how it rolls out this year.

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MAKING CITIES SMARTER WITH AI

The past few years have witnessed how AI is slowly and steadily transforming many sectors including business, transportation, healthcare and security among many others. Many such applications can be applied to enhance the development of cities into smart cities, as we call it today, especially since rapid urbanization is creating the need for smarter solutions.

So what are smart cities? – According to Bismart, a smart city is a city that uses technology to provide services and solve city problems. A smart city does things like improve transportation and accessibility, improve social services, promote sustainability, and give its citizens a voice.

What impact does AI have?

With internet and storage becoming easily available and accessible, there is a large amount of data available that can be used for purposes like marketing or security. The growth of big data and cheaper computing infrastructure have also enabled the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI), machine and self learning, in software applications supporting every aspect of life.

One significant application of AI in a smart city is video surveillance. For example, closed circuit television (CCTVs) can be used for facial recognition. A reporter was tracked down using AI in the Chinese city of Guiyang in less than ten minutes, on December 2017. On similar lines, police officers in Zhengzhou are using ‘SMART’ AI glasses, to recognize criminal suspects and finding civilians with fake IDs. Internet of things allows devices like CCTV cameras and sensors to share data, increasing the efficiency of security not only in public places but also in private households as well.

AI today, is also being used to solve traffic issues – like adjusting the way traffic lights are metered, or building or closing roads.

Once humans come up with a solution, AI can be used to implement it at a much faster rate. AI can then be used to model the results of proposed measures. This also allows for corner cases to be better understood beforehand. Ideas that might have taken years to prove out and materialize can now be done in a matter of minutes.

Major tech-giants are investing millions on automatic driving. Driverless cars are being tested on the streets of major cities and their commercial production is not far away.

City authorities can use AI to work through huge quantities of data to test and deploy new initiatives to cope with demands for parking as well.

AI is now being used in healthcare to diagnose disease and improve public health. Robotic surgeries are becoming more popular due to its accuracy.

It is also bringing forth the 4th industrial revolution, with the manufacturing industry being transformed through AI. The sector is entering its next phase – Industry 4.0 – which is driven by automation, Internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing. The big players are already investing millions in computer intelligence, so that they can save time, money and resources while maximizing their production.

With so many applications available to improve infrastructure, companies and governments are not afraid of investing huge amounts in this venture powered by AI. These investments will make spread opportunity and make cities more convenient and sustainable.

Cities today are being transformed by technology. The next wave of disruption will involve major automation and breakthroughs in widespread areas, all with the power of AI.

This blog was written by our Content Writing Intern – Rona Sara George. Click on the name to view her LinkedIn profile.

Author: Xaltius (Rona Sara George)

This content is not for distribution. Any use of the content without intimation to its owner will be considered as violation.

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