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Here’s why you should care about quantum computers

December 01, 2021 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated December 08, 2021 15:54 PM UTC

As told by Tony Uttley of Quantinuum and Pete Shadbolt of PsiQuantum.

now, why should people in this room care about quantum computers, speed? Yes, I think, you know, common computing is a an idea that is now decades old and where corporations, governments startups spending huge amounts of money time and energy and all of that enthusiasm is based on the promise that quantum computers are going to be able to solve computational problems that will never be solved by any conventional supercomputer that we ever built. So if we were talking about an incremental improvement, a small speed up five x, 10 X, something like that, I wouldn't be sitting here trying to build a quantum computer and neither would my colleagues. But instead we're talking about some specific applications being able to solve things millions billions of times faster, where it's really in the regime uh, of not being able to ever solve those problems on a conventional computer. And so it's really unlocking otherwise impossible task. Um, and those tasks pan pretty well every industry on the planet, automotive, aerospace, finance, healthcare, climate, you name it. We know of uh, potentially profoundly impactful applications for quantum computers so well, Tony will conceivably get better pharmaceuticals. Um, financial companies will be able to better calculate risk. Does that sound about right? It does. And it's also if you if you think about what is happening globally, you're seeing for the first time in either a long time, maybe almost ever where nation states are taking active gigantic financial bets on a technology. If you if you think about why do we care? It's like why do all of these countries care? It's because it is one of the most profound technologies that we will have. It is, you know, we're sitting at that next evolution where if we rewound ourselves and said classical computing didn't exist yet, but we figured out a way to do it, or the internet didn't exist, exist yet, but we found out a way to do it. And uh and so it is, it's in these areas that have to do with treating a quantum system by looking at it with a quantum system. And that's why the promise of pharmaceuticals and new materials that uh, ways to be able to sequester carbon, you know, problems that are shaping our own environment, humanity right now are things that hold the promise to be tackled with quantum computing.