NY Time Blog headline this morning: Google Buys a Quantum Computer
Teaming with NASA, they’re forming the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab (QAIL) to focus on machine learning. Better search will come, one supposes.
I missed the announcement of the first commercial quantum system earlier this year from D-Wave out of fabulous British Columbia. The first D-Wave is a 512 qubit giant with the caveat that instead of using the more conventional approach of using magnetic fields to produce superposition and entanglement of said qubits, the D-Wave system chills processing elements to near absolute zero, cranks up the algo in question (with near infinite possible outcomes) and the lowest energy state that emerges — the optimal outcome — is the winning answer.
D-Wave doesn’t list a price on their site. I suspect home use is a bit of a stretch in any event — the 512-qubit processor chip is housed inside a cryogenics system within a 10 square meter shielded room. Maybe it would fit in the basement.
Loads of applications are poised to benefit by this approach, including complex financial calculations and protein folding problems.
For my data science friends, D-Wave even has a developer portal. Check it out: D-Wave Developer Portal
I tried downloading their developer kit, but alas, for registered users only and no form to register exposed. We’ll see if an email to the info alias opens that door.
It might be a little early to start boning up on programming techniques for quantum systems in any event. But now that Google and NASA have bought in to the D-Wave approach, we will, no doubt, be seeing job board postings for quantum developers before the end of this decade.