A team of researchers from Australia and Singapore have uncovered a way for regular computer users accessing quantum computing power through remote cloud access to keep their computations private even from the quantum computer being used itself.
With companies like IBM and Google offering their early forms of quantum computers for use through remote access, this news from Joseph Fitzsimons, lead researcher and theoretical physicists from the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, and his colleagues ensures a type of “blind quantum computation” privacy that keeps information like what specific qubits are being used and for what purpose.
Previously it was believed that using a quantum computer would be the only way to keep research secure in a cloud-based quantum computing scenario. However, using a method called measurement-based quantum computing, it may be possible to keep information secure from anyone looking at the qubits being used.
Usually in quantum computing, quantum bits, or qubits, exist simultaneously as 1s and 0s, allowing more information to be processed at once when compared to traditional computing bits that can only exist in one state, either 1 or 0, at a time. Measurement based quantum computing places qubits in a quantum entanglement where a change to one qubit effects all the qubits in the entanglement. After this, the qubits are each measured in a specific way that indicates the program being operated on the computer. The cloud user provides precise directions for the measurements, which encrypts the program being used and the input data. Most importantly, every measurement is reliant on the result of the measurement before it.
Although these findings, published in the latest edition of Physical Review X, are still in the early stages of research, the current results are promising. Fitzsimons and his colleagues are continuing research to explore remaining issues like ensuring accuracy along with security and ensuring that the quantum computer being accessed cannot figure out the computations being performed if it has prior knowledge about said computations.
Still, this is a positive result for Fitzsimons, who has been investigating blind quantum computation for over ten years, and an exciting possibility for researchers hoping to use cloud available quantum computing.
News Source; CQT Singapore
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