Science & Tech

Quantum Computer Researcher Warns That the Industry Is Full of Ridiculous Hype

“I’m disturbed by some of the quantum computing hype I see these days.”

Quantum Hype

The nascent area of quantum computing generates a gentle drumbeat of attention-grabbing headlines about the looming “quantum apocalypse,” “quantum supremacy,” and limitless new investments in ventures that promise to lastly crack the business capabilities of the tech huge open.

In an excoriating new essay for MIT Tech Evaluate, although, outstanding College of Maryland quantum researcher Sankar Das Sarma says that everyone must take a deep, deep breath.

The analysis is fascinating, he writes, and should nicely ultimately result in extraordinary breakthroughs. However the actuality, in keeping with his evaluation, is that issues are progressing slowly to date and we’re unlikely to see something world-changing from the tech in the close to future.

“I am as pro-quantum-computing as one can be: I’ve published more than 100 technical papers on the subject, and many of my PhD students and postdoctoral fellows are now well-known quantum computing practitioners all over the world,” Das Sarma wrote. “But I’m disturbed by some of the quantum computing hype I see these days, particularly when it comes to claims about how it will be commercialized.”

Count on Delays

Das Sarma traces the the historical past of quantum hype again to 1994, when an evaluation confirmed that it’s theoretically potential that the tech might crack open the strongest current encryption algorithms. That represented a risk, so governments began pouring cash into the area.

The issue, in Das Sarma’s evaluation, is that regardless that the tech seems to be bodily potential, really fixing it at scale has confirmed to be immensely difficult. The jump-out determine in his essay, for example, is that right this moment’s prime quantum computer systems have dozens of the sorts of qubits believed to be essential to provide genuinely spectacular outcomes. However to successfully harness them, he writes, we would want to scale that quantity to the thousands and thousands.

“The qubit systems we have today are a tremendous scientific achievement, but they take us no closer to having a quantum computer that can solve a problem that anybody cares about,” Das Sarma wrote in MIT Tech. “It is akin to trying to make today’s best smartphones using vacuum tubes from the early 1900s.”

Quantum computing could nicely nonetheless be coming, in different phrases. However in keeping with this knowledgeable, don’t maintain your breath.

Extra on quantum computing: Consultants Warn of “Quantum Apocalypse”

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