Google have published a paper in the scientific journal Nature (leaked a month ago, now officially announced). In short, they claim to have made a massive scientific breakthrough - they have achieved "quantum supremacy" - they've built a quantum computer able to perform a task faster and better than any existing classical computer in the world.
Their quantum computer was able to perform a task in 200 seconds which would have taken the world's most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years. IBM, a leading maker of classical supercomputers and another leader in the field of quantum computing have a few issues with Google's claims.
Comparisons to the Wright Brother's flight are all over the place. The scale of this breakthrough can't be understated.
Not sure what quantum computing is?
Classical computers are limited to two states, on and off, represented by the 1s and 0s you've probably heard of. They're called bits.
A quantum computer instead uses qubits - which can have any value between 0 and 1. Qubits can also become entangled - where the value of one qubit is related to the values of other qubits around it. This short video is a good summary. In short, quantum computers will be much faster and more powerful.
Google's breakthrough, regardless of arguments around the edges, show that quantum computers are coming closer to mainstream, real-life applications and are no longer just theoretical.
The implications this has for business are immense.
One of the likely early applications for quantum computing will be weather forecasting. Very large supercomputers in universities all over the world are already crunching massive amounts of climate data to make short- and long-term predictions for the weather. The increased processing capabilities of quantum computing will allow scientists to make sure of even more data, producing more accurate climate models and all much faster.
Think about how this could potentially impact your business. The power and capabilities of machine learning and AI will go through the roof. There will be even more reasons to expand the collection and utilisation of big data. Financial markets will change forever as quantum algorithms predict future events with ever increasing accuracy.
Quantum computing will eventually impact every aspect of business.
Any business making good use of a CRM today will be able to imagine the power of applying quantum algorithms to the masses of relationship and interaction data they’re already collecting.
It will encourage deeper levels of data collections as the power of machine learning and AI takes off.
Quantum computing is on the way. And it will change the world.