Rene: Hi! Welcome back to season 2 of QuBites, your bite sized pieces of quantum computing. My name is Rene from Valorem Reply and today we're going to talk about quantum computing and the Internet of Things, or IoT in short. And for this, I'm happy that we have a special expert guest with us today at Giovanni Fazzi [from Data Reply]. Ciao Giovanni, welcome to the show! How are you today?

Giovanni: Hi Rene! Thank you for inviting me.

Rene: I see some great books behind you including some good stuff about good old CC++ and also a photo with your father I think. So, we have a little bit of family support here today, which is just perfect! So, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and especially how that relates to quantum computing?

Giovanni: Oh yes, my studies were about math and I have been working on quantum computing since the beginning of 2018. My contribution is mainly related to quantum problems and quantum application from a mathematical point of view. [In ] my job, I'm actually [focused on] creating a bridge between business problems and quantum computers.

Rene: That's a great match for show here, where we are focusing on the current impact we’re already seeing with quantum computing. And so, let's dive into today's topic. What do you think, how is the Internet of Things actually related to quantum computing? Where is the cross section here between these technologies?

Giovanni: Oh yes, Internet of Things is surely a developing technology with a lot of scope in the future and it can make easier a lot of tasks for us. But technology is moving towards quantum computing and the Internet of Things as well as other technology fields will be advanced [by] it. In my perspective there are 3 main aspects [of the intersection between Quantum Computing and IoT]:

  1. The first one is quantum cryptography for Internet of Things security.
  2. The second one is quantum AI. Let’s say, you get the data from your sensor or your device and then send them to a central point, here you can run quantum algorithms and so you can explore all the quantum processing power.
  3. The last one it is the quantum optimization related to handling the Internet of Things infrastructure.

Rene: Gotcha. So, basically you can, for example, apply quantum-inspired optimization - which by the way we covered in season one. So if you want to learn all about quantum-inspired optimization, watch some of the season one videos, we talked [at] length about quantum-inspired optimization. But what you're saying is basically you can use these kind of quantum-inspired computing algorithms like QUBO and so on to optimize. For example, your IoT sensors and other things where we need some optimization efforts. So that's great, but let's talk about quantum security a little bit and what role does quantum security play in the IoT context, so can we dive a little bit deeper into this one?

Giovanni: Yes, unfortunately Internet of Things has many risks. Like for example data breaches, data authentication, viruses, side-channel attack, etc. And the classical algorithms like, for example NACI, works well against current classical computers but as I mentioned before we are moving to a new era, the quantum computing era. And so, the quantum processing power is more than enough to crack the current classical algorithms. Therefore, it is required that we have to design post-quantum algorithms in order to [protect] our system from [such] breeches.

Rene: Gotcha. So basically, there is this threat on the horizon that with quantum computing we can basically crack, or like basically make the current cryptography and encryption algorithms obsolete, right? They will be crack-able in a linear time in fact which you cannot do with classic computers at the moment, so that’s this big threat. And so, what can you actually do to mitigate for [these quantum risks] or can you already plan for that? You mentioned these post-quantum algorithms, right? So that's probably something, what else can be done?

Giovanni: At Reply, we are working on the 3 main aspects [of IoT and quantum computing] that I mentioned [in the beginning of the show]. We have a department that is working on post-quantum cryptography algorithms and we are testing it. Speaking [of client] projects, one [that is] top of my [mind], is a project related to our Telco customer. In line with that, let me define a concept of SON. SON stands for Self-Organizing Network. So, you have telecommunication networks made of different nodes and [each of] these nodes has to find the optimal parameters by itself, independently of the other nodes. So, this node sends the information to a central point and here you have quantum algorithms that run and is able to find the optimal solution and the optimal parameters. [These] optimal parameters then are sent back to the [other] nodes. And this problem is quite hard since you have a lot of nodes, a lot of interaction, and plus you have to find a solution quickly. So if on one hand you have your problems that become bigger and bigger, and so are more complex, you [realize] that you have to find the solution very quick. So therefore, to solve this kind of problem, you have to use quantum computing or quantum-inspired algorithms and base it upon GPU or TPU.

Rene: Gotcha. So, basically applying quantum-inspired optimization technology for actually optimizing your IoT workloads in the end, right? And that's actually quite amazing that we're already doing this at Reply with customers in production. So that is that is pretty amazing! Well we're already at the end of the show today. Thank you so much Giovanni for sharing your insights today. And also thanks to your father to supporting us in the background there, that is very much appreciated. Say hi to him and again thank you so much Giovanni.

Giovanni: Thank you Rene, it was a pleasure.

Rene: Great! And thanks everyone for joining us for another episode of QuBites today. Follow our social media channels to hear all about the next episodes when we publish them. Also our blog will have the new ones and also the previous episodes from [QuBites] Season 1. So go and check them out!

Thanks for your attention, take care and be safe, bye bye!

Giovanni: Bye!