Google plans to open online access to its quantum machines for scientists and researchers of artificial intelligence. The IT giant wants to “whip up” the development of new tools for this technology and plans to create a powerful cloud service using quantum computers.
According to Bloomberg, Google has formed a new laboratory: Embryonic Quantum Data Center, and is also preparing “ProjectQ” — open source project for developing software for quantum computers. In other words, Google is already considering the practical application of quantum computing.
“They’re pretty open that they’re building quantum hardware and they would, at some point in the future, make it a cloud service,” Peter McMahon, a quantum computing researcher at Stanford University told Bloomberg.
According to experts, quantum computing in the future can revolutionize the IT industry, since they can solve problems [so far only a certain range of them] much faster than modern machines can do. Quantum computers store information in so-called qubits, encoding data as 0 and 1 at the same time. This allows you to operate multiple states at once.
Scientists hope that full-function quantum computers will find application in various fields. Sandia National Laboratories technical officer Robin Blume-Kohout believes that quantum computing will help in improving the work of solar panels, creating medicines and even fertilizers.
For the first time Google thought about quantum computing in 2013, when the company bought one of the early quantum computers D-Wave. In 2014 Google has announced the start of development of its own quantum machines. According to the developers, the system will be able to prove its superiority over classic computers by the end of this year.
However, Google is not the only company engaged in the creation of quantum computers. IBM already offers access to a specialized platform of quantum computing, deducing a 16-qubit quantum computer online. Also, the company intends over the next 5 years to create a 50-qubit quantum system, which will have to “bypass” all modern classical computers. IBM is also working to create a universal quantum computer for the corporate segment. Microsoft also has its own interest in this area.
Professor Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology notes that today quantum startups “grow like mushrooms.” One of them is Rigetti Computing, which collected more than $ 69 million to create hardware and software for a quantum computer. Its founder, Chad Rigetti, sees that the technology is getting as hot as AI, but I’m sure it’s only just beginning. “This industry is very much in its infancy,” he said. “No one has built a quantum computer that works.”
Probably the first company that will make a viable business in quantum computing will have a large (albeit short-term) advantage over its competitors. But, according to Professor Lloyd, quantum computers will find their mass application only when the number of qubits reaches a hundred.