Random numbers are in demand for a wide variety of use cases, from computer encryption lotteries and games of chance, as well as scientific research.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace now offers a quantum computing-based random number generation service developed by the Australian National University’s Quantum Numbers (AQN) project.
AQN said the project, which has operated out of the ANU campus lab for 10 years, uses quantum technology to generate true random numbers in real time by measuring quantum fluctuations in a vacuum.
How can it be used?
AQN researcher Dr Syed Assad said the random number service can help meet users’ needs in “computing, data science and modelling” and that “you can’t have reliable models for prediction and research simulation” without random numbers.
Assad also highlighted creative use cases for the quantum solution, saying the number can also be used by artists to “help remove human bias from their creative work.”
“In computer games and smart contracts, true random numbers are also an indispensable resource,” Assad said. “We even had a request from a father to generate random numbers which he then used as inspiration for his daughter’s name!”
AQN claims to have received more than two billion requests for random numbers from 70 countries since the start of the project, including clinical trials, simulation of processes and events in computer games, generation of Passwordssimulating virus outbreak behaviors and predicting weather.
How does the service work?
Professor Ping Koy Lam, leader of the AQN team, said its use of lasers at the quantum level is what makes the solution distinct.
“Quantum physics provides virtually an infinite source of truly random numbers,” Professor Lam said. “These quantum random numbers are guaranteed by the laws of physics to be unpredictable and unbiased.”
“This technology is based on the detection of vacuum. The vacuum is not a region of space that is completely empty and devoid of energy. In fact, it still contains noise at the quantum level.”
“Through AWS Marketplace, ANU offers an incredibly powerful source of random data that is easily accessible to customers around the world.”
AWS Marketplace users can make 100 random number requests per second through the service, at a cost of $0.005 per request.
Amazon isn’t the only BigTech company to keep a foothold in the quantum computing race, however. Alphabet revealed that he is spinning Sandbox, a Palo Alto-based quantum technology group, into an independent company.
Sandbox has been operating as a separate group outside of the company’s Moonshot X division for almost two years, having launched in 2016.