Back in 2019, Google claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy by solving a problem that was considered to be impossible for most supercomputers. The company’s Sycamore, their best quantum computer solved a super complex calculation that would take approximately 10,000 years for the most powerful supercomputers to finish.
So how was this possible? Normal computers perform calculations using “bits” that are either 1 or 0. But a quantum computer uses “Qubits’. “Qubits’ are data that can exist as both 1 and 0 at the same time. And this is exactly the reason for the advantage that quantum computers have over other supercomputers.
This being said, Quantum computers are still at their baby stage and are not yet ready to be out there full on. But if we look at some of their possible applications and how companies like IBM have taken up research to find out its capabilities, we just have to agree that this is going the change the world.
What’s Happing Now?
Many engineers have been trying to make predictions about the potential of quantum computing to make significant changes to our lives once it becomes a bit more viable. Some predictions include optimization into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Google has said that Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is said to be one of the short-term applications of Quantum Computing. Their research team is currently developing machine learning techniques on quantum devices. This development, in the future, will give rise to machines that are capable of learning on their own and from experience without any programming.
Other applications would be in the weather, to make more accurate predictions and help combat climate change. It may even mean that we could devise materials that may even reverse climate change which was caused by using fossil fuels. And also, we would be able to save more lives because of the advancements it could bring in drug research and development.
The biggest most important breakthrough would be data security. Better encryption methods could protect online data which is most crucial in today’s world. Another major use of quantum computing would be in financial markets where they could perform really complex changing variable to help fix prices and hedge risks. For us, the ordinary people, it would help figure out higher profits and lower risks in relation to financial products.
What Are the Current Setbacks?
Even though there is a lot of hype about quantum computing and how its gonna help us get to the future we see in the movies, huge breakthroughs, and life-changing applications are yet to be discovered and are probably years away. The major challenge scientists are facing right now is to figure out how to get the qubit particles to remain stable for a longer period of time. This is why these quantum computers are kept in temperatures close to zero. Because the colder it gets, the more stable the particles would be.
It doesn’t matter if the era of quantum computers is developing at a slow pace. But looking at the work that is done around it, it can definitely lead to a world that’s currently beyond our imagination.