In recent years, many big tech companies have ventured into something called Quantum Computing. Though, in theory, Quantum Computing has been there for a while now, it is yet to make big splashes in practice. If a thing is new and unheard of, there are bound to be a few myths of Quantum computing.
Though this term might be new to many, scientists had already laid the foundation of Quantum computing in the 1930s. In a Nature magazine, Google said it had a breakthrough discovery with its 53 qubit quantum computer Sycamore. It can perform complex calculations in 200 seconds that would take Classic computers an astounding 10,000 years.
Before we dive deeper and segregate the facts from the myths, let us look at Quantum Computing’s history. Also, to understand it better we need to know what is quantum computing?
History of Quantum Computing
Quantum Computing is said to be next-generation computers. They are based on the fundamentals of quantum mechanics.
The regular or so-called classic computers that we now use were first used in the 1930s by an English Mathematician named Alan Turing who was researching mathematical concepts and proved that a machine could solve any mathematical calculations.
Fifty years later, researchers noted that Turing was even working on classical physics to solve the computer’s mathematical complexities. They pointed out that quantum physics had an immense amount of power.
Where normal or classic computers would take years to solve a mathematical equation, quantum computers could solve in a matter of minutes.
Classic computers encode information in the form of bits, i.e., either 1 or 0(on/off, yes/no). In comparison, quantum computing encodes information in the form of ‘qubits’ i.e., the bits are both 1 and 0 simultaneously.
Here are some of the myths surrounding Quantum Computing with valid points to defend the realities.
Myths of Quantum Computing
- Quantum Computing will mean the end of normal computing.
- Quantum Computing can run programming codes similar to classical computers.
- Quantum Computing will destroy cybersecurity.
- Quantum Computers might attain consciousness and turn into ‘Quantum Mind.’
- Quantum Computing will be commercially available in 15 years.
- Quantum Computers will be better at modeling the real-world scenario.
Fact #1: Quantum Computers will not raze out classical computing.
It is obvious to think that with the advent of newer technologies, the older ones automatically diminish. Recently, news leaked that Google has achieved ‘Quantum Supremacy’. This led many futurists to predict that it was a matter of years that quantum computers would replace classic computing.
But in reality, the number of tasks that Sycamore can complete is very minimal. In short, there aren’t many complex questions in our history of modern Mathematics that would need a quantum computer yet.
Fact #2: No, Quantum Computing cannot run the same programs as classical computers.
The main reason for this is that quantum computing needs different sets of algorithms to render any of the programs.
Scientists and programmers believe that if quantum computing builds designs from the bottom-up, it would be a dream come true for them. Quantum computing can only solve the problems that are designed specifically for them, where they have the algorithm to solve the calculations. They are even used for cyber-security purposes like cryptography.
Fact #3: Quantum Computing will ruin internet security only if there is a Quantum Attack
So far, it is still a myth, but researchers say that it might not be the case in the future. The current Public-key Cryptography (PKC) algorithms are resistant to security attacks launched from normal computers.
But after a few years, quantum computers will be able to break even the most robust PKC algorithms. This puts our entire communications network and data at risk.
Quantum Cryptography algorithms provide intensified cybersecurity even in case of a large-scale quantum attack. But it is only in theory. In comparison, increased Cybersecurity with quantum machines is one of the applications of quantum computing.
Fact #4: Quantum Mind or Consciousness is only a hypothesis and hasn’t been proved.
We still have a long way to understand Quantum mechanics and computing, whereas Quantum Mind is a post-set of Quantum computing. None of the hypotheses over quantum mind has been proved. The quantum mind is one of the types of quantum computing but IBM diminishes Google’s say on ‘Quantum Supremeacy’ as they have only touched the tip of the ice-berg.
Artificial Intelligence is due to attain consciousness. But recent rumor leaked that Facebook turned off its AI robot project. In it, the 2 Robots were communicating with each other in a language not known to humans.
There’s an enormous gap in the level of distinction in complexity between a brain and any computer. Humans have been able to design, and recently, so has AI. So, that might mean that it’s not impossible for a computer to have a mind of its own or attain consciousness, even if it might be possible in theory. It’s still very unclear.
Some say that the Quantum mind could be one of the advantages of quantum computing, but that is highly debatable.
Fact #5: It will be challenging even for Quantum Computing to replace Classic Computing entirely.
Many have been saying it for the past 15 years already, but there has been no drastic change. It is one of the pure quantum computing myths. Quantum computing is no joke; for computation to be solved at high speed, the heat generated is tremendous. Quantum Computers have been stored at -23 degrees Celsius.
It wouldn’t be feasible now or in the future. Quantum computing at most will be used for research and high-end modeling and number crunching at data centers.
It is a fact that computers are diversifying, and the future is in hybrid machines since classical computers remain powerful. Hybrid machines are the only way to increase the importance of Quantum Computing in the commercial sector.
Myth #6: Quantum Computers will be better at modeling the real-world scenario.
Fact #6: Quantum Computers haven’t yet been programmed to model ALL the real-world scenarios.
Classic computing has failed to model real-world scenarios, which led to people hoping for Quantum computers to do the job. The point lies in the algorithm that needs to be used. To some extent, quantum computers can model real-world scenarios with the ‘superposition’ of the qubits.
The quantum computing reality is that a 300 qubit quantum computer can predict the various financial scenarios for the next couple of years. The whole financial market can be modeled as a quantum process. This is where quantities that are important to finance, such as the stocks and assets, are important and are involved.
So far, the real-world models that quantum computers can predict are the financial, weather, and agriculture models. Each could be used as modeling software programs as quantum computing applications.
Quantum Computing is far from being commercially-available. It is still a mere fantasy for many. One day all these myths and misconceptions could turn into reality but not, in 2021.
It will be a transformative reality in the future, but most of its potential impact is mainly theoretical. Hence I have written Quantum computing: myths vs reality blog. This would help resolve the myths that one would have for Quantum Computing with the facts to quantify against it.
Despite being hypothetical and the fact there is a long way to reach a milestone for any prediction or investments. Google CEO Sundar Pichai compared Google’s advancement to the Wright brothers’ first 12 seconds flight. Though fundamental and short-lived, it showed what’s possible. In today’s time with Quantum Computing, what’s possible, is impressive indeed.
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