We constantly joke that Skynet and Terminators are right around the corner, but new advances in technology are making those uncomfortable jokes a near reality. This latest development from Google and NASA is exactly what I’m talking about.
That giant black box is the D-Wave 2X Quantum Computer and its located deep underground in some secret vault. Nah, it’s actually in NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing center in Silicon Valley. Back in 2013 the two acquired this thing from D-Wave, a privately held quantum computing company. So, what’s so special about this thing? Well, it’s about 100 million times faster than your average computer and can decipher complex problems that classical computers could only dream of… if they could dream.
“We have already encountered problems we would like to solve that are unfeasible with conventional computers,” said Google Vice President for Engineering John Giannandrea. “We want to understand the future that may lie ahead of us in non-conventional computing.”
Google Director of Engineering Hartmut Neven has even said that the D-Wave 2X can compute in a second what would take your standard single-core computer a whopping 10,000 years. Yeah, this this is wicked smart. Quantum computers like the D-Wave 2X run on qbits (quantum bits) rather than binary ( 0’s and 1’s). Qbits compute each 0 and 1 simultaneously, thus allowing calculations to be completed at much higher speeds.
This thing is seriously powerful, and what it can potentially do remains to be seen. If you’re interested in finding our more you can check out this study.