Google’s New Quantum Computer

12/09/2015

Google says it has proof that a controversial machine it bought in 2013 can use quantum physics to compute artificial intelligence algorithms much faster than a conventional computer.

Governments and leading technology companies are quickly trying to develop quantum computers as they possess superior data-crunching abilities.

“It is truly a disruptive technology that could change how we do everything,” says Deepak Biswas, director of exploration technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Biswas spoke at a press conference about NASA’s work with Google in establishing the world’s first commercial quantum computer. The computer is installed at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and operates on data using a superconducting chip called a quantum annealer. An annelaer is hard-coded with an algorithm suited to what are called “optimization problems,” which are common in machine-learning and artificial-intelligence software.

The implications of quantum computing is huge – these machines could be programmed to take on any problem and would be much more useful than its contemporary alternatives.  John Giannandrea, a VP of enfineering at Google who coordinates the company’s research, said, “…if quantum annealers could be made practical, they would find many uses powering up Google’s machine-learning software. We’ve already encountered problems in the course of our products impractical to solve with existing computers, and we have a lot of computers,” he said. However, Giannandrea noted, “it may be several years before this research makes a difference to Google products.”