The future of finance is quantum

UKZN’s Amira Abbas talks quantum computing and the future of financial applications.

07 May 2020

For any industry that uses large amounts of data to accelerate real-time business intelligence, quantum computing is a game changer. For the banking sector, a computational speedup could be the much-needed solution to complex financial problems that are only getting more problematic. This is exactly where Amira Abbas comes in: with an undergraduate degree in actuarial science, Abbas went to work in the finance industry and came across artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Still on the lookout for something that would satisfy her intellectual curiosity, she found the emerging field of quantum computing and wondered how quantum physics could help reshape AI and ML.

“I immediately knew that this was the field in which I wanted to pursue a career,” Abbas recalls. “I wrote to some universities and colleges and, coincidentally, in my hometown, there was a quantum research group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) doing exactly this research – quantum computing and machine learning. It was the birth of quantum machine learning and I was so happy to find something that encompassed all the things I love.”

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