Looking Back @ 2019

It’s almost 2020.  Predictions for the coming year and looking back over the past year’s events abound.  This year, The Qubit Report has gathered a number of these pieces.  We have looked for the pertinent quantum computing aspects they contain.  A bit eye-opening on the variety of both good and bad for what lies ahead in 2020 and what did not come to pass in 2019.

Here, we take a look back over 2019.

InfoQ  InfoQ’s 2019, and Software Predictions for 2020

InfoQ is calling Google’s claim of quantum supremacy the quantum computing “Key Takeaway” for 2019.  They do, however, give mention to  IBM’s study for resolving the issue of decoherence. 

Looking back, 2019 saw some significant announcements in Quantum computing. In May, IBM published a paper in Nature that suggested they may have found a path to dealing with decoherence in current quantum computers. Writing for InfoQ Sergio De Simone pointed out:

    “The main issue with decoherence is the fast decay of a wave function, which has the undesirable effect of generating noise and errors after a very short time period. The paper proposes two approaches, one called probabilistic error correction and the other zero noise extrapolation, to keep decoherence under control.”

Nextgov  Did I pull an Icarus and fly too close to the sun?

Looking back at 2019, the U.S. Government and industry made headway into quantum computing.  Quantum supremacy was attained but Nextgov contributor, John Breeden II, sees that as only part of a bigger accomplishment:

In October, Google, which has been working on one of those aforementioned government partnerships with NASA, announced that it had achieved quantum supremacy, a term meaning that they built a quantum machine that could solve problems faster than any traditional computer ever could. Google claims that even a supercomputer would take 10,000 years to solve the same thing its quantum machine did in just 2.5 days. Although some other firms working on quantum computers, especially IBM, disputes Google’s claim, it’s clear that their quantum machine is quite impressive, and more innovations will follow.

There are so many amazing things that our nation could achieve as a leader in quantum computing. But we had to reach the supremacy milestone first. And this year, we did. So my prediction about quantum computing changing the game was most certainly true.

Verdict: True!

Weather.com  Top 5: Scientific Breakthroughs That Made 2019 an Unforgettable Year of Human Progress

The Weather Channel – India puts quantum computing at #4 of 5 scientific breakthroughs.  They give IBM and Yale University due regard.  Of course, Google’s quantum supremacy claim made it.

#4. Quantum leap in computing

Of all the progress made in computing research in 2019, the biggest breakthrough was perhaps the realisation of quantum computing.

Right in the first month of 2019, technology giant IBM unveiled Q System One—the first quantum computer outside a research lab—bringing a rather abstract concept into the public imagination. Unlike the bits of information in computers we use, a quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits, enabling an exponential rise in the amount of data it can process and store.

Cheddar  How Did We Do? Looking Back on Cheddar’s 2019 Predictions

Under the “A.I.” heading, Google’s Sycamore strikes a chord of “C”.  Somehow, looks like Cheddar needs to review the difference between AI and QC.  Regardless, Google’s announcement made the cut.


Was 2019 the year that artificial intelligence went from the realm of sci-fi to reality? We predicted we’d see the advent of open-source A.I. this year, which remains to be seen. But we did see the emergence of true machine learning at work, perhaps most creepily with the “deepfake” phenomenon (didn’t you see the video of Bill Hader seamlessly morphing into Tom Cruise?).

But the big step forward this year was the announcement from Google that its quantum computer, codenamed Sycamore, reached “quantum supremacy,” solving a calculation in three minutes that would have taken the world’s most advanced supercomputer 10,000 years to solve. Many believe that quantum computing breakthrough is to the field of A.I. what the Wright Brothers’ first plane was to air travel. It’s only advancing from here.


Albawaba  2019 is The Year of Science, Technology and Space

If you can’t teleport or travel back in time, put a “super monster” in your list.  Though a “super monster” took center stage in Albawaba’s list, quantum supremacy clocked in with some commentary on IBM’s challenge…

In the field of technology, a major breakthrough was announced by Google — and immediately challenged by IBM: Quantum supremacy. This refers to the ability of a quantum computer to solve problems that “classical” computers practically cannot (requiring aeons), regardless of the usefulness of the problem or the solution. Indeed, Google announced that its “Sycamore” processor had performed a particular task in 200 seconds that the world’s best supercomputers would need 10,000 years to complete.

Yahoo  9 ETFs at the Forefront of 2019 Market Rally

Spend and invest your money at your own risk.  If you have not looked at quantum computing and investing, you may want to take some time to research.  Appears to have been a good year for The Defiance Quantum ETF QTUM.

The Defiance Quantum ETF QTUM – Up 48.4%

This ETF offers investors liquid, transparent and low-cost access to companies developing and applying Quantum Computing and other transformative computing technologies. It follows the BlueStar Quantum Computing and Machine Learning Index, which measures the performance of approximately 60 globally-listed stocks across all market capitalizations. QTUM has expense ratio of 0.40% and has accumulated $16.2 million in its asset base.

EurekAlert!  2019 EurekAlert! Trending Release List the most international ever

Finally, though not a prediction we’re looking back on, EurekAlert! published its top ten trending releases.  Teleportation captivates we humans; as does time travel.  The Qubit Report sees a similar correlation in hit statistics for these quantum subjects. 

From EurekAlert!’s top ten:

#2. Physicists reverse time using quantum computer (358,629)
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology,
Scientific Reports

#6. Researchers teleport information within a diamond (228,916)
Yokohama National University, Communications Physics