Have We Achieved Quantum Supremacy Thanks to Google?
A paper was recently published on NASA’s website that claimed that a Google quantum computer had managed to achieve what is considered “quantum supremacy”.
Shortly after the paper was published, however, it was removed. It has been suggested that the reasoning behind this is because if verified, this would indeed confirm that Google has developed a quantum computer that is capable of solving problems that would be merely impossible for a classical computer to solve. In fact, reports of NASA’s (recently removed) published paper hint that Google’s new quantum computer spends approximately 200 seconds to sample one instance of the quantum circuit one million times, while the world’s top supercomputers would require roughly 10,000 years to perform the equivalent task. If this is truly the case, then a landmark in quantum computing has been achieved. According to reports, NASA’s paper claimed, “to our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor”.
According to Industry 4.0 Market Research’s report, “Quantum Computing Market & Technologies – 2018-2024”, the global quantum computing market will grow at a CAGR of 24.6% by 2024. We are in the midst of a “Quantum Computing Supremacy Race”, one that will result in groundbreaking computing power that surpasses the performance of digital supercomputers. The quantum computing technologies have the potential to change long-held dynamics in commerce, intelligence, military affairs and strategic balance of power. Industry 4.0 Market Research explains how during 2019 we “will experience a surge of breakthroughs”, which according to this latest news, is deemed to be true.
As fascinating as Google’s latest possible breakthrough may be, many researchers are cautioning against idolizing it just yet, since they fear that such high expectations of forthcoming advances could lead to disappointment.
IBM’s head of research, Dario Gil, has advised against using quantum supremacy as a metric to measure progress in the field. He recently expressed to Financial Times that “Quantum computers are not ‘supreme’ against classical computers because of a laboratory experiment designed to essentially (and almost certainly exclusively) implement one very specific quantum sampling procedure with no practical applications”.
The concept of quantum supremacy was first heard of in the early 1980s by scientists Richard Feynman, Yuri Mann, and Paul Benioff. This group of scientists laid out the groundwork for what quantum computers could potentially achieve. 30 years fast forward, and we may be witnessing this idea of theirs manifesting into a life-changing reality.
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