Extensive piece by Tom Brant in PC Magazine on the possible quantum computing industry having a long winter. (To emphasize the underlying point, Gartner has placed quantum computing just short of the summit of Mt. Hype. It’s on the precipice of falling into the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’.) Mr. Brant’s work is well worth the read. See below for link. Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit
Quantum Computing: A Bubble Ready to Burst?
+ Despite advances coming at a breakneck pace, many of the people working in the nascent field of quantum information science acknowledge that quantum states are not yet reliable or understood well enough to replace traditional computing and the internet. Some believe they never will be—that no one will ever buy a phone with quantum bits instead of an Apple A12 Bionic, and that quantum bits and other elementary particles will forever be relegated to scientific research.
“It used to take months to travel from New York to California,” Hurley points out. “And then came the train. Think of trains as classical computers.” More than 150 years after the Golden Spike marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, hardly anyone marvels at trains. “But no matter how far you go, you eventually reach an ocean,” Hurley says. “So you need air travel.”
+ [P]erhaps there is no quantum bubble about to burst. The importance of supercomputers is easy to understand today, even if it’s not always easy to describe exactly what they do. Improving these types of machines with quantum tech seems easier to justify, whether or not we ever reach quantum supremacy or invent indestructible photons. Quantum information’s future could be seen as an analog to Manifest Destiny, the view that the westward expansion that swept 19th-century America was both defensible and inevitable.
+ That’s quantum computing: a revolutionary technology that could allow us to cross metaphorical oceans. Even in maturity, it might still rely on classical computers to perform common tasks, just as the denizens of the suburbs take airplanes to go on foreign vacations but arrive at the supermarket and the mall in SUVs on 15-lane roads. If the recent pace of money pouring into quantum computing research has you itching to buy a quantum-powered iPhone, you’re probably living in a bubble. But the quantum breakthroughs of the last few years suggest changes in the not-too-distant future…
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