Google Reportedly Attains ‘Quantum Supremacy’

from c|net

Google has reportedly built a quantum computer more powerful than the world’s top supercomputers. A Google research paper was temporarily posted online this week, the Financial Times reported Friday, and said the quantum computer’s processor allowed a calculation to be performed in just over 3 minutes. That calculation would take 10,000 years on IBM’s Summit, the world’s most powerful commercial computer, Google reportedly said.

Google researchers are throwing around the term “quantum supremacy” as a result, the FT said, because their quantum computer can solve tasks that can’t otherwise be solved. “To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” the research paper reportedly said.

More here.

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  1. Google recently has been trying to get into all fields and be the best at all of them. Google started making their own phones, and now they look like they are going to be making their own computers for future sale. The computer they made more than surpassed what IBM is going to be offering in their line of quantum computer processing which is no easy task. The numbers alone of being able to beat one IBM’s top commercial computer by 10,000 years with the processing of a calculation is enough to make anyone say “wow.” I think that this is going to be a big step into the world of artificial intelligence and things like robots on assembly lines. The quicker these computers can process, the quicker they will be able to perform tasks that it is programed to do. Also, with that speed that will help in the process of building self-learning AI that will be able to act almost like humans. When looking at their accomplishment in this perspective, it can be intriguing and scary at the same time. Intriguing because everyone would enjoy to see what a robot that we would see in movies in real life among us. It is also scary because those same movies have also showed us what can go horribly wrong with something self learning. Things like this however show that Google is one of the biggest companies in the world, if not the largest, and plan to never stop expanding further than everyone.

  2. As an avid lover of technology and computers, the field of quantum computing is personally one of my biggest passions. I could talk about quantum theory and the future of quantum computing for hours, so reading about a leap in the field like this is super exciting. There are so many applications for quantum computing, and as scientists understand more and more about quantum physics, technological innovations will closely follow. The possibilities for simulations alone with quantum computing could lead scientific innovations faster than we could have ever anticipated and will make a big difference in the fields of science, communication, and technology.

    My only qualm is with the phrase “quantum supremacy”. Ideally, I hope that this will be a challenge among the most innovative to drive quantum computing innovations forward for the benefit of everyone (to be used among everyone). However, I always fear that when one massive company consistently leads with the capabilities of a technology, they control its use, which can benefit only themselves, especially considering how much of a far reaching powerhouse Google already is. Especially with the rise of antitrust concerns over mega corporations like Google, it’s something that’s got the attention of the world. This, and other innovations like it, will be something to pay attention to over the next couple years.

  3. As the world moves on, they say that it isn’t going to wait for anybody else. Whether that be computers, science, innovation, or creativity. We have surpassed things that a lot of people thought we couldn’t because we are selfish. And, I have to say that is the reason we are progressing at the rate we are, we want to make things easier for ourselves. Google recently came out with a super fast computer that could do very complicated calculations in three minutes compared to IBM’s fast computer. According to the website (shannonweb), “Google has reportedly built a quantum computer more power than the world’s top supercomputers” (Google … Attains … Supremacy). It was posted online that because of the processor it has built in it, it increases the speed it can solve problems at. Google researchers are talking about “quantum supremacy” because the quantum computer can solve things that otherwise couldn’t be. The reason that they could create this new supercomputer is that they were being “… protected by freedom of design” (Google Reveals … Supercomputer). This shows that the freedoms we have the right to aren’t always limited by the government. I think it is great for us to have something like this because we might need this computer to help our progression in the world.

    Another commenter spoke about the term “quantum supremacy” not being the right thing to call it. To me personally, it does speak to the fact that this one thing may take over the entire market and give Google a lot more power than it needs. A commenter wrote that “ I always fear that when one massive company … leads … technology, they control its use… “ (N., Jess) and I can understand where that comes from. But, if they do benefit themselves it won’t hurt us because whatever they figure out is a service for us.If you go on Google, and look up supercomputer, you get a bunch of results that talk about the government brainwashing us to how to build your on computer. But, I won’t get the same results that you do because Google populates them based on the cookies they get from our browsers. Google has hundreds of algorithms that are helping them track the cookies and generate the news most relevant to the user. Yet, we have a few different search browsers and you don’t hear them complaining. I know Google is in the middle of an antitrust investigation but that is because of an upset Republican that believes Google advocates for the right. Google is a powerhouse because it knows how to store its user data without creating problems or concerns for its users. An MIT Review gave Google applause for its new chip and supercomputer because this victory would allow “Google to establish themselves as an AI developer” (Google Reveals … Supercomputer). I agree with the other commenter that “… it will be something to pay attention to over the next couple years” (N., Jess) because this computer may solve a lot of important equations.

  4. Why would Google not comment on the FT article that was posted and then deleted? Is it because it was false or it because they did not want their competitors to know their progression? Regardless though, the competitors have surely recognized Google’s advancements and ramped up funding and research within their quantum computing sector.

    The main capability that is making quantum computing so intriguing is its ability to run simulations are an astonishing rate. Mainly within the chemistry and physics realm, the possibilities that quantum computing opens are endless. All computers read only 1’s and 0’s. Quantum computing uses “qubits” which represents a placeholder where a 1 or 0 can be placed. Except, qubits use “superposition” which allows a 0 and a 1 to be in the placeholder simultaneously. For example, a 4 digit combination lock with each position being a 1 or a 0, a standard computer would run through all 16 combinations of 1’s and 0’s while a quantum computer would be able to fill each of the 4 positions with a 1 and a 0 simultaneously cracking the code immediately.

    The main purpose that researchers believe quantum computing will be used for is first in the medical industry to run simulations on the success of medicine. Simultaneously running a number of simulations will quickly determine the most effective use of different drugs for specific illnesses. These quantum computers will revolutionize the industry of drug testing . The other main use will be for the manipulation of big data. The largest issue with big data is finding the best way to use it. Quantum computers will be able to quickly decipher through useful and useless data and be able to produce extremely effective results within a fraction of the time that humans would take. Quantum computing will revolutionize the big data ‘epidemic’ that society is facing today.

    Here is an amazing youtube video that explains the basics of quantum computing if anyone is interested in learning more :

  5. It is always exciting when science breeds new and unprecedented technology for humans to perfect and implement into our lives. I obviously am not an expert on quantum physics, but I do remember learning about it briefly in a high school physics class. The analogy the teacher used to compare quantum computing to normal binary computing was how the two could solve a maze puzzle. The computers we use now would use trial and error to test each possible route one at a time until it found the way out of the maze. The quantum computer could test many many different solutions at the same time in order find the solution exponentially faster. This probably would not be very useful for the average person to have on their phone as we can already load and perform instantly the calculations that the average person needs. Quantum computing can however solve complex equations and create simulations that may be slow or impossible for normal computers to perform.
    One thing I thought of that this could drastically change is crypto currency. If a someone used a quantum computer to mine Bitcoin they could completely crash the value of that and if quantum computers become common I could see crypto completely disappearing.
    The fact that quantum computing can make such complex simulations seems like it would be the most beneficial to humanity. Simulating different compounds and reactions could be used to create new medicine, or stronger and lighter synthetic materials. It also may be able to better predict outcomes to help businesses and politicians make better decisions for all of us. Almost like the Avengers movie where Doctor Strange looks into 14 million possible futures to find the one where the good guys win, quantum computers may be able to look into similar prediction models.

  6. Quantum computing is something that is very involved, and requires an immense amount of knowledge to understand how it works and how to create new developments in the field. I know this, because after reading this article I looked online and tried to go more in depth and understand what quantum computing actually is, because the article uses unfamiliar terms to someone who is lament to quantum computing and its field. What I gathered is that (without fully understanding the science and development behind this innovation) this is a huge step in more than one field.
    Quantum computing involves the properties and reactions of subatomic particles that exist in more than one state. Their behavior can be much more quickly determined through the use of quantum computers, therefore the 3 minutes it took for Google’s machine to calculate its input was very impressive and innovative. This allows the slow process of quantum mechanics to possibly be sped up, which will benefit the every growing field of artificial intelligence and electric cars.
    The development of these two fields in particular is slowly but surely becoming more real in everyday life, with the electric car created by Tesla and the loom of possible “human computers”, a.k.a. artificial intelligence. The car created by Tesla is more environmentally friendly. However, they are more expensive and many people cannot afford to drive them, even if they want to help the environment. In my opinion, the new developments in quantum computing may allow, in the future, for electric cars to be more accessible and affordable for the everyday consumer, due to the advancement in subatomic particles.
    The possibility of “robots taking over the world” seems far-fetched, but in reality in some ways it has already happened. Every device people use in their everyday lives are, in a sense, “robots”, even if they do not seem like the typical robots seen in movies or TV shows. The advancement that Google has claimed to make will make the possibility of the robots seen in those said movies and TV shows more real. Because artificial intelligence is so hard to perfect, a computer acting like a human to the T, Therefore, advanced quantum computing will allow for the outcomes of subatomic particle reactions to be performed quicker and more efficiently, which will advance artificial intelligence.

  7. Just about 200 years ago, in 1822, Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer. Then, in 2007, Apple released the first iPhone. Now, Google has made a machine that can solve nearly impossible problems. I’m Charles Babbage had no idea that what he created could ever do something like what this machine at Google can do. As Moore’s Law, and later Neven’s Law, states, technological advancements will continue to happen at an exponential rate. Neven’s Law, which relates directly to this topic, works specifically with quantum mechanics, stating that, “ quantum computers are gaining computational power at a doubly exponential rate”. Harmut Neven, the namesake of this law, hypothesized that quantum supremacy, the idea that a quantum computer can solve a problem classical computers cannot, will occur this year, 2019. Google is proposing just that, that this year they created a machine that reaches quantum supremacy. Neven, who works for Google’s quantum artificial intelligence program can be quoted saying, “It’s not one company versus another, but rather, humankind versus nature — or humankind with nature.” For him and the people in his field, technological advancement is almost an extension of nature. While many might argue that we are pushing ourselves beyond nature, we are actually just expanded our knowledge of the quantum-ness of nature. We would not be able to have the things these scientists are building if the tools did not exist naturally. We as humans have just evolved past basic understanding in order to manipulate nature. Things that exist on Earth are necessarily natural. Nobody wished this quantum computer into existence, and if they could, then that would mean wishing things into existence is in a way natural. Regardless, this is the world we live in. No one person can say that they don’t like technology. I was in the store the other day and this very difficult customer was trying to return some expensive products at full price with no proof of purchase. The store manager said she would accept them but only at half price since these products are almost always on sale. Despite the fact that the manager should not have been taking it back in the first place, the customer laughed in her face. The manager tried to explain that the customer could look up online to find a receipt from her credit card company, to which the customer promptly exclaimed, “Oh no! I don’t have a computer. I don’t like that internet stuff, I don’t need technology.” This customer had a flip phone and wallet that looked to be about 100 years old. Such a simple problem can be fixed just by turning on a computer, yet this lady acts like she’ll be shot in the head if she ever even tries. I’m sure many things in this woman’s life could be made a lot easier if she accepted technology. In fact, I’m sure she goes out of her way to simply avoid it. This option simply does not work in a world where a computing device can solve a problem like the one Google’s quantum machine has. The amount and capabilities of the technology we interact with everyday will continue to increase and we are no longer afforded the ability to deny technology. You would quite literally have to live under a rock to avoid any form of technology.

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