Daily Management Review

Google Used Quantum Computer To Solve Complex Problem


10/29/2019


Is Google inching towards turning quantum computing into reality?



Google reported that it has managed to successfully solve “a complex problem” in minutes with the help of “a quantum computer”. If the same problem was given to take the present computer generation even “most powerful supercomputer” among them would take “thousands of years to crack”.
 
Researchers at Google see quantum computers pushing limits in the computing fields of “artificial intelligence, materials science and chemistry”. Google is not alone in the race to become the first in the market to commercialize the quantum computers and to sell the same through “cloud computing units”. Some of Google’s competitors are “IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp”. In the words of Google’s Chief Quantum Hardware Scientist, John Martinis:
“We’re hoping that when people start using this and looking at performance stability and cloud interface, they’ll get really excited about what we have to offer at Google”.
 
Computer scientists have been trying for decades to use quantum physics to govern “sub-atomic particles” which could “simultaneously exist in different states” much unlike the world we perceive on a daily basis. Traditional computer works on binary systems and “relies on bits” while quantum computes use “quantum bits”, otherwise known as qubits which are capable of being “both one and zero at the same time”.
 
Qubits have a property of superposition wherein their power of staying together increasing exponentially making it equally powerful quantum computer. However, the problem lies in the fact that qubits need to be cooled to “close to absolute zero to limit vibration” which could otherwise translate in calculation error.
 
Google has used liquid helium to deal with this “extremely challenging task” and came out with come “significant” results. The chief executive officer of Google Sundar Pichai draws a comparison between this achievement of Google with the “first rocket” launch in the history of the Earth, whereby usher in the possibility of “interplanetary travel”. In Pichai’s words:
“For those of us working in science and technology, it's the 'hello world' moment we've been waiting for - the most meaningful milestone to date in the quest to date to make quantum computing a reality”.
 
You can read the entire blog of Pichai by clicking on the link given below:
https://blog.google/perspectives/sundar-pichai/what-our-quantum-computing-milestone-means.
 
With the help of Sycamore microprocessor, developed by Google, the researchers used 53 out of 54 qubits packed within to “interact in a quantum state”. Following this, the computer had to “detect patterns in a series of seemingly random numbers” which is a “complex task” no doubt. To the surprise of the researchers, the computer solved the problem in “3 minutes and 20 seconds”, whereas as per estimation the same problem would take “a Summit supercomputer”, “the most powerful in the world today”, “10,000 years” to solve. The leader of Google AI’s research team, Frank Arute:
“This dramatic increase in speed compared to all known classical algorithms is an experimental realization of quantum supremacy for this specific computational task, heralding a much-anticipated computing paradigm”.
 
Nevertheless, the Research Director at IBM, Dario Gil wrote:
“Quantum computers will never reign 'supreme' over classical computers, but will rather work in concert with them, since each have their unique strengths”.
 
The link to Gil’s blog is mentioned below:
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/2019/10/on-quantum-supremacy.
 
While, Torsten Siebert, the Manager of the “quantum computing research program” in Fraunhofer Society, Germany, was impressed by Google’s achievement; he also added:
“We certainly share IBM’s concerns about the general concept of ‘quantum supremacy’ in relation to a truly application-orientated advancement of the field”.
 
 
 
References:
reuters.com







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