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Quantum Computing and the Future

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Posted June 8, 2019

Earlier this year, IBM released its first quantum computer designed for commercial use. This machine is not intended for in-home use, but instead, users now can access a quantum computer over the internet. This is a significant step forward for quantum computing. But what’s next? Where is quantum computing headed? When will we see the first in-home quantum computer?

Image credit: insspirito via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

Image credit: insspirito via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

A quantum computer processes data faster than ever. By doing away with linear processing, qubits are capable of testing every possibility at the same time. How much faster is it? Well, researchers predicted that a quantum computer would be a million times faster compared to existing hardware solutions. To non-specialist readers, similar quantum computing concepts could seem a complicated stuff. If you’re curious to know a little bit more about it, check out this explanatory article on DaniWeb.

The Problems Quantum Computing May Solve

Artificial Intelligence

One of the primary applications that researchers believe quantum computing will be able to implement is artificial intelligence. AI is already being used around the world in various ways. But by using these super-fast computers to simulate AI, the development of this area will accelerate quickly.

Although many are afraid of artificial intelligence advancement, the promise of what AI based on  quantum computing can do is too good to ignore. A quantum computer AI system is likely to replace existing solutions and introduce technological disruptions in different industries around the world.

Molecular modeling

By utilizing a quantum computer, scientists will be able to analyze and find new configurations for chemical reactions. A fully developed quantum computer would have little difficulty in evaluating complex processes behind chemical reactions that are difficult to model even when using state-of-the-art hardware. What this will lead to is a rapid advancement in development of new pharmaceutical drugs, agricultural fertilizers, and clean, renewable energy sources, just to mention few.

Perfecting already existing processes

Quantum computing may just accelerate and improve already existing processes. For example, financial modeling will become easier and more accurate. At the moment, the complex system of financial modeling is a best-guess game based on analytical data. But with quantum processing, the evaluation of the numbers and the multitude of possible outcomes will become quicker and more precise.

Weather forecasting and cryptography will also see a significant change by utilizing faster processing. The promise of using a quantum computer to upgrade already existing processes means that we will get better data, faster.

In the Next Few Years

With the current breakthroughs in the field, we may see quantum computer models that can be bought and used by individuals. This means that it will be possible for you to have one of these machines in your home within approximately the next ten years. They won’t be cheap though. The price tag of buying a quantum computer is currently in the range of millions.

Image credit: RemazteredStudio via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

Image credit: RemazteredStudio via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

But as more research is being done, and more companies get into the field, we may see a significant drop in price. Looking back at the 1970s, the rise of personal computers experienced similar market dynamics. It is logical to assume that we will observe a similar and favorable trend for in-home quantum computers, set to become the norm in the next few decades. However, for the time being, users will have to be satisfied with using the available technology remotely. But nonetheless, this is already practically working quantum hardware.

A Final Thought

Quantum computing holds some great promise for upending the world. Huge companies like Google, IBM, NASA, as well as countries themselves, are investing heavily in research into this technology.

It may be a few years away until the world can utilize the amazing potential of a quantum computer. And it does seem that the mainstream quantum computer technology is coming faster than most of us expected.

No one can be sure how quickly the world will change when we will start using machines that run a million times faster, but one thing is certain – quantum computing holds the key to answering many of today’s problems.

 

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