Why Google’s new quantum computer could launch an artificial intelligence arms race

The D-Wave 2X quantum computer promises exponential gains in computing power. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)Ever since the 1980s, researchers have been working on the development of a quantum computer that would be exponentially more powerful than any of the digital computers that exist today. And now Google, in collaboration with NASA, says it has a quantum computer — the D-Wave 2X — that actually works. Google claims the D-Wave 2X is 100 million times faster than any of today’s machines. As a result, this quantum computer could theoretically complete calculations within seconds to a problem that might take a digital computer 10,000 years to calculate. That’s particularly important, given the difficult tasks that today’s computers are called upon to complete and the staggering amount of data they are called upon to process.…


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