If you’re reading this right now, you’re doing it on a personal computer–either a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. On the same device, you’re probably performing many more tasks, each with varying ranges of computational power needed. Ultimately, many of our everyday computing tasks require little effort from our computers, zipping along as we check Facebook, work on spreadsheets, or watch a YouTube video. But some computers, not the ones used for writing blog posts or playing games, need power unparalleled by our current technology. In industries like artificial intelligence, finance, security, and genetic engineering, the complexity of the process is so extensive that to fully access the future, new technology had to be created – enter Quantum Computing.
For the complex future of calculation, quantum computing is stepping into the mainstream as the future of big data. The potential result? Exponential improvements in medicine, finance, and more.
What is Quantum Computing?
Understanding quantum computing can be a tough challenge, especially considering that the theory behind it is hard to comprehend. To really make sense of it all, we need to compare it to our traditional computers.
When our current devices make a calculation, it’s done through a series of 0s and 1s – effectively, this is telling the computer “yes” or “no” to a certain set of criteria. But quantum computing, through its usage of quantum physics in the form of qubits, can be 0, 1, or both at the same time.
Essentially, this means that quantum computers should be able to complete tasks at a rate far greater than traditional computers. Because they can cover more options, their chance of solving a problem rises exponentially.
Where is Quantum Computing Being Used?
To put quantum computers to use, companies are developing them for applications spanning multiple industries.
For example, artificial intelligence is the prime use case for quantum computing, as it requires a variety of tailored calculations to provide the right solution to the user. While current artificial intelligence can sometimes lack the “intelligence” part, improvements in its computation can lead to better responses to questions, more accurate predictions, and even self-driving vehicles.
As of now, though, the future of quantum computing is up in the air; because the tech is young, its researchers have failed to make it capable of exceeding the speed of current computers. That will inevitably change, and with it will come big structural changes.
Weather prediction, cryptography, and finance will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of advancements in quantum computing. For predictions in these three categories, our confidence will be at an all-time high, allowing us to be more accurate in modeling.
Where It All Stands
As quantum computing continues to improve, more players are looking to get in. Google, IBM, and other large tech companies are making waves in the industry, while startups with venture capital funding – like Rigetti – aim to get a leg up on the competition, and those VCs with money to spend on the future, are doing just that; with money pouring into quantum computing, it may just be the Next Big Thing.