SandboxAQ Product Strategies – Quantum Computing Report

We reported earlier this week that the Sandbox Group had spun off from parent company Alphabet. As mentioned in their press release, they strive to combine AI and Quantum technologies to solve customer problems that cannot be solved using conventional technologies. And to be clear, this group is different from the Santa Barbara/Venice Beach-based Google Quantum AI team that pursues hardware development of superconducting quantum processors. This team remains with Google.

We had a chat with Jack Hidary, CEO of SandboxAQ, and he provided us with additional insight into some of their near-term priorities and activities. The first area they are working on is post-quantum cryptography (PQC) and cybersecurity. We believe that in a few days, NIST will announce its selection of Series 3 PQC algorithms selected for standardization for use in public-key cryptography. These are intended to replace the current RSA and other algorithms used in digital infrastructure today for public key cryptography to exchange encryption keys. We expect this announcement to launch a massive effort, sometimes known as Y2Q, to upgrade or replace the billions of devices currently using public key cryptography in their digital communication to secure devices against decryption attacks of large quantum computers. This Y2Q effort will take 10-20 years and companies will spend billions of dollars to achieve it. In reality, although spending in both areas is measured in billions of dollars, we believe that for the rest of this decade, companies will spend more money implementing quantum resistant technologies (PQC + QKD) in their digital communications infrastructure than they will spend developing the quantum applications for their organization .

Implementing this crypto code upgrade will be a massive undertaking and this is where SandboxAQ can provide a lot of help. Finding and fixing all the places where the algorithms need to be updated will be quite difficult. In many cases, this will require upgrading code that may have been originally installed 20 years ago by an employee who left the company a long time ago.

What SandboxAQ has developed is a AI-based discovery engine that will find all the places a business needs to upgrade cryptographic software to a quantum secure PQC solution. They will then help companies convert to one of the NIST-approved PQC algorithms. Although several other companies are pursuing this market to help businesses convert, we’re not sure any of the others have such an advanced AI discovery engine that can help find where to upgrade. the algorithm is needed.

Another secret weapon SandboxAQ has to pursue this market is its advisory board. When we first saw the list of their advisors, we noticed that it didn’t have the usual cast of well-known quantum computing experts that you might see as advisors at other quantum startups. However, there are many with deep experience in traditional enterprise IT, such as Eric Schmidt, Marc Benioff, and others, who can provide excellent advice on running an enterprise SaaS business. for this type of effort.

Additionally, going through this PQC upgrade process may bring other additional cybersecurity-related opportunities for SandboxAQ in the future. As companies seek to upgrade their cryptographic algorithms, some may decide that it is also time to upgrade their entire cybersecurity infrastructure with more modern and maintainable software and hardware. While this probably wouldn’t require quantum technology, it could most likely require AI and give SandboxAQ the ability to build additional AI solutions.

Another area SandboxAQ is working on is AI-enhanced quantum sensors. A particular area of ​​interest is the Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) domain. The military would really like to have a device that could augment or replace the GPS system so that their troops know where they are in an environment where GPS is denied. This capability could also be important in the civilian market for self-driving vehicles whose GPS signals may be blocked by tunnels, tall buildings or other interference. Quantum sensors can offer much better sensitivity for things like magnetic sensors, but they can potentially become even more powerful when the sensor output is fed into AI software that can interpret the data coming out. This effort at SandboxAQ is still in R&D and will come after the PQC offerings.

SandboxAQ considers itself a SaaS B2B (Business-to-Business) company. This contrasts with Alphabet which primarily has a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) model. These two models are very different in terms of customer base, sales channels and even company culture. So maybe that’s one of the reasons why Alphabet decided to turn SandboxAQ into a separate company.

When developing products that require access to quantum computing, SandboxAQ will remain agnostic. But there will also be cases where it makes sense for SandboxAQ to partner with Google Cloud or the Google Quantum Group to jointly provide solutions to solve customer problems. As their business grows, the company is also open to working with 3rd third-party vendors in the future who may expand the sales channel and resell SandboxAQ offerings and provide services to individual customers.

Thus, SandboxAQ should have many opportunities to blend its AI technology with various quantum technologies and expect there to be many more efforts on its part to do so in other markets and products in the years to come. future.

March 25, 2022

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