This morning, Google scientists confirmed in a blog post that their quantum computer had needed just 200 seconds to solve a problem that they claim would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.
The team first ran the algorithm last spring using a 54-qubit processor called “Sycamore.” While the achievement is called quantum supremacy, it doesn’t mean that quantum computers are suddenly more capable than classical computers, since Google’s quantum computer only beat the competition at a single, highly contrived problem. Quantum computers with day-to-day applications may still be decades away, but this is an important scientific milestone when comparing quantum computers to their classical counterpart.
This is amazing and immediately brings to mind two thoughts, one good one not so good.
- The potential speed and power of quantum computers will make future AI and other advances in diagnosis and treatment much more effective.
- The potential speed and power of quantum computers will make current security and encryption methods obsolete.