According to a report in the Financial Times, a team of researchers from Google led by John Martinis have demonstrated quantum supremacy for the first time.
This is the point at which a quantum computer is shown to be capable of performing a task that’s beyond the reach of even the most powerful conventional supercomputer. The claim appeared in a paper that was posted on a NASA website, but the publication was then taken down. Google did not respond to a request for comment from MIT Technology Review.
How significant is this milestone? Very. In a discussion of quantum computing at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this week before news of Google’s paper came out, Will Oliver, an MIT professor and quantum specialist, likened the computing milestone to the first flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk in aviation.
He said it would give added impetus to research in the field, which should help quantum machines achieve their promise more quickly. Their immense processing power could ultimately help researchers and companies discover new drugs and materials, create more efficient supply chains, and turbocharge AI.
Image Credit: MIT Tech Review