Welcome To The Age Of Quantum Computing
New York Times
“Google said on Wednesday that it had achieved a long-sought breakthrough called “quantum supremacy,” which could allow new kinds of computers to do calculations at speeds that are inconceivable with today’s technology… Scientists likened Google’s announcement to the Wright brothers’ first plane flight in 1903 — proof that something is really possible even though it may be years before it can fulfill its potential.”
What Is Quantum Computing?
New York Times
“Ordinary computers store data and perform computations as a series of bits that are either 1 or 0. By contrast, a quantum computer uses qubits, which can be 1 and 0 at the same time, at least until they are measured, at which point their states become defined. Eight bits make a byte; the active working memory of a typical smartphone might employ something like 2 gigabytes, or two times 8 billion bits. That’s a lot of information, but it pales in comparison to the information capacity of only a few dozen qubits. Because each qubit represents two states at once, the total number of states doubles with each added qubit. One qubit is two possible numbers, two is four possible numbers, three is eight and so forth. It starts slow but gets huge fast.”
The Pervasiveness Of Technology Is Not Inevitable
“As a reporter who covers technology and the future, I constantly hear variations of this line as technologists attempt to apply the theory Charles Darwin made famous in biology to their own work. I’m told that there is a progression of technology, a movement that is bigger than any individual inventor or CEO. They say they are simply caught in a tide, swept along in a current they cannot fight… In fact, our world is shaped by humans who make decisions, and technology companies are no different.”