Since the 1980s, researchers have been developing the quantum computer that would be exponentially more powerful than any of the digital computers of today. And now Google, in collaboration with NASA and nearly 40 years of development, says it has a quantum computer that actually works, the D-Wave 2X.
Google claims the D-Wave 2X is 100 million times faster than today’s digital machines. Meaning, it could theoretically complete calculations to a problem within seconds where it would take a digital computer 10,000 years to calculate the same problem. This is important, given the difficult tasks today’s digital computers are called upon to complete and the staggering amount of data they are called upon to process.
In this sense, the D-Wave 2X represents not only a quantum leap for computing, but also for the field of artificial intelligence. Google actually refers to its work at NASA’s Ames Research Center as “quantum artificial intelligence.” Referring to the future speed at which it expects to solve complex problems which is, instantaneously.
“Quantum annealing” is the term used when the D-Wave 2X if working. The 2X is current working on a class of AI problems generally referred to as optimization problems. Imaging 2X optimizing the flight trajectories of interstellar space missions, FedEx being able to optimize its delivery fleet of trucks and planes, an airport being able to optimize its air traffic control grid, or a big pharma company being able to optimize its search for a breakthrough new drug.
This computer could potentially be worth millions, if not billions, to certain types of companies or government agencies. Having said all this, it does have one little problem –quantum computers are notoriously difficult to run. With quantum computers, you’re dealing with quantum bits (“qubits”), not digital bits. A binary digital bit is (either 1 or 0), a qubit could be either or both at the same time! Also the 2X must be super-chilled to a temperature 150 time colder than deep space.
This is where the AI arms race comes into play. And it’s not just Google D-Wave vs. IBM Watson –it’s all the other classes of unconventional computers out there. For example, the ‘neurosynaptic’ chip mimics the human brain and some computers that are biological. Yale University is working on their own quantum computers.
But at testing time, the playing field was not exactly level for all combatants. That’s because the digital computers were forced to process a quantum algorithm, so naturally the quantum computer had a huge advantage. Needless to say which was faster.
Read Article (name | domain | 11/11/2015)
To date billions have been invested in quantum computing, with high expectations for record breaking results. But no matter how much has been invested, somehow the testing parameters must be leveled.
Master Level High-Tech Webinars