The definitive guide to Britain's success in the twenty-first century

Quantum Supremacy

October 24th 2019- Google annouces a breakthrough.

Nobody - *really* *nobody* - knows what this actually means for humanity.

Supremacy - "Researchers said in the journal Nature they had used a chip with 53 superconducting qubits (the information-storing building blocks of a quantum computer) to complete a complex set of calculations in 200 seconds, versus a predicted benchmark time of 10,000 years for the world’s fastest supercomputer."

And no one understand the basic principles upon which the computational abilities of this supremacy rests. All we think we know, is that after many years of development humans have created a new type of computational device that can calculate ‘impossible to solve’ problems, problems that cannot be finalised with normal computational devices, and this includes our own brain - even if it was scaled up and ran much faster.

Has the human race ever been here before? Perhaps the closest is Albert Einstein’s mathematics of relativity. This changed the way we considered space time and the physical limitations on space travel and led to the quest to find black holes.

The people who know quantum stuff tell us that to find the ‘impossible’ answers, these new quantum computers must work in other dimensions or other universes as there is not enough ‘stuff’ in our known universe to make the thing work. None of this is understandable.

So, this simple conjecture tells us that we are in completely new territory for humans. We have seemingly started to harness unfathomable universes to do unknown mathematics - where will this lead?

Perhaps, as this new technology unfolds we shall become familiar with multi-universes and start solving many problems we once accepted as unfathomable and improve day to day problem solving.

The BBC announced this breakthrough scientific process as an aside at the end of the news. Clearly, the people in the BBC have little understanding of what this may mean for the human race.

CST considers this as perhaps one of the greatest discoveries for humans ever. Only time will tell.

Perhaps it will lead to a new type of intelligence? We think we know that nature has found ways to harness quantum functions – a leaf uses this to find the best path for an electron to travel once released by photosynthesis.

We are fairly sure that future quantum computers will help us solve complex problems like predicting weather systems.

But what if we equip a neural network computer with quantum computation, will it find a way of answering questions that we cannot? Will it understand the future better than us? Could we couple such a quantum device to our own brains to give us super-powers?

What is clear is that the future of quantum computing is going to be interesting, maybe very interesting and possibly even quite scary.

New Scientist:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2220968-its-official-google-has-achieved-quantum-supremacy/

Nature:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1666-5