Op Ed: From Weather Predicting and DNA Sequencing to Grocery Sack Optimization, Quantum Computing Could be the Solution
If you have doubts on the direction quantum computing may be headed, take a look at this editorial and opinion. Very positive spin and in everyday people’s terms. There will be one at every grocery checkout; or will there be? Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit.
Quantum Computing: What You Need To Know
+ Moore’s law is slowing down – Computing power isn’t increasing as quickly as it used to. Classical computers are turning out to be inefficient at solving many new problems like optimising multiple variables for decisions or simulating complex models.
These problems need computers to flip through multiple solutions and make myriad computations. Classical computers aren’t able to compute as quickly as these problems demand because they have to compute sequentially, or with limited parallelism. Most believe the way to overcome this barrier is by inventing a completely new paradigm of computing – quantum computing.
+ As the number of qubits in quantum computers increase, we will first start seeing optimisation and data access problems being solved first. For example, with enough qubits, we could use quantum computers to assemble and sort through all possible gene variants parallelly and find all pairs of nucleotides – the building blocks of DNA – and sequence the genome in a very short period of time.
+ Let’s use a simple example to illustrate the potential. Imagine you have just gone grocery shopping and have bought 4 items of varying size. You also have one bag to place all four into. One has to select the most optimum way to fill the bag as to not damage the groceries.
+ Assuming you have no knowledge of which combination works and how the items interact with each other, it only makes sense for you to try all possible arrangements one by one and see which one gives you the best results.
+ But going through each arrangement one by one will take time, since there are 24 possible arrangements. What if you could have 24 helpers who could simultaneously fill up 24 bags with one of the arrangements and shout out the result to you?
+ Then you could find the optimal arrangement in the time of essentially filling one bag. That’s what a quantum computer allows you to do. It allows you to access all possible states and variables parallelly and not just sequentially.
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