Google Announces Success in World’s First Quantum Computer

10/31/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If you’re excited about the future, then you’ll love this. Google has just announced a quantum processor that works thousands of times faster than a supercomputer.


The world of quantum computing isn’t exactly mainstream. That being said, anyone who knows anything about it is rightly excited about it. Google has now announced that they’ve successfully made a quantum computer that can solve calculations that would take supercomputers thousands of years in just 200 seconds.

This is obviously an important breakthrough, although IBM has been quick to hit back. This is to be expected, seeing as IBM is one of the world’s largest computing companies, with more than 400,000 employees in 170 countries around the world. You’d expect them to hit back if Google had made a major technological breakthrough.

Google, on the other hand, insists that its creation is revolutionary and will advance AI and the capacity of supercomputers in ways that we’ve never seen before. This is a major breakthrough that Google has been working towards for the last three decades in one way or another.

Superfast processing

The Sycamore chip – Google’s quantum chip – is said to be millions of times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer. That’s pretty God damn impressive, isn’t it? This was actually tested when the 54-qubit chip solved calculations that would usually take a supercomputer thousands of years in just 200 seconds. This is insane speed and obviously sets the stage for the advancement of computing into a next-generation that we can’t even really comprehend at the moment.

The speed at which the Sycamore chip can process information is unseen and unheard of up to this point, although, you’re not going to see it installed in your next laptop. The costs of quantum computing are incomprehensible to the everyday person, and even to the everyday company.

This is certainly something that is reserved for major tech companies like Google that are working on artificial intelligence. The new quantum chip makes the dawn of AI much more likely to happen in the near future. It’s slightly worrying to consider that something could process so much information so quickly – we could never dream of keeping up with it.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent with every major technological advancement that we need to figure out a way to augment ourselves with technology in order to be able to keep up with our own creations.

Google has created the quantum chip so that it can take advantage of the power of sub-atomic particles that are capable of being in various places at the same time. This is the weirdness of quantum physics. Things behave very strangely when you zoom in enough – it’s actually mind boggling and seems like it should be impossible.

Overblown hype? IBM hits back

While Google claims that it has reached quantum supremacy – a bold and important claim which the company’s CEO compares to ‘launching the first rocket into space’ – IBM has said that their claims are overblown. The major US computing company wrote in a blog post that while Google’s achievement is impressive, it cannot be considered quantum supremacy as it was completed with a quantum chip, not a quantum computer.

While Google says that the problem its quantum chip solved would take the world’s fastest supercomputer thousands of years, IBM says that the computer could actually have solved the problem in two and a half days, assuming it was programmed correctly.

This would still make the quantum chip a significant achievement, but it raises a valid argument to Google about whether this quantum chip is actually everything that they’re saying it is. IBM’s argument is that this experiment does not prove that quantum computers are superior to regular computers, and that quantum computers have to work in tandem with regular computers to be effective, anyway.

In some sense, it does sound a bit like IBM are trying to cover their asses and make sure that they’re not wiped off the face of relevance by Google’s advancements. But then, they do seem to make a fair point, which if Google cannot dispute, could calm down the hype around the quantum chip.

So, is this a huge breakthrough?

In short, Google’s Sycamore chip is an important breakthrough for quantum computing, which, in turn, makes it an important breakthrough for the advancement of AI development and the ability to make patterns in huge amounts of information – something which the nerds at Google will be thrilled about, no doubt.

At the end of the day, Google can use the Sycamore chip to assist its efforts in the advancements of artificial intelligence. This is important, considering that this is ultimately the company’s most ambitious project and probably what it wants more than anything else – to achieve AI.

This means that while you won’t be able to use the Sycamore chip to make everyday technology around you more effective, the fact that this thing exists in human society is an impressive breakthrough for us all and something which is worth being proud about.

IBM is right to be skeptical about Google’s achievements, considering that this is something that would essentially give the company the badge of honor the equivalent of winning the space race in the Cold War.

The real success of the Sycamore chip is the ramifications that it could – and most likely will – have on the development and implementation of future technologies. Considering that this is the first time the technology has been made, it’s no wonder that it’s so expensive.

The wrap-up

Once the technology is more widely developed and made more available to the world of big tech, it will likely become less expensive and thus more widely used. This, in turn, could change the entire face of technology. Quantum technology is one of the most significant things in the world of science and tech, and it has the potential to change the face of human society beyond recognition.

At the end of the day, Google’s Sycamore chip is an incredible achievement. The idea that this technology could become more widely implemented in the near future is both exciting and slightly incomprehensible. This is very much where the average person stops understanding technology and science altogether. Exciting stuff.

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