Personal computers today are millions of times more powerful than the conventional computers of the 1950s. Scientists are now exploring the capabilities of quantum computing, which is billions of times faster than any conventional computer and can theoretically solve computing problems that are presently unsolvable.
Quantum computing is a type of computing that uses the collective features of quantum states to accomplish calculations, such as superposition, interference, and entanglement. Quantum computers are machines that can perform quantum computing. Quantum computing would be able to solve problems that conventional computers cannot, or would solve them much faster. Scientists’ imaginations have been captured by quantum computing as one possible field of study after we’ve reached the limits of digital binary computers. Because of its ability to hold many different possible outcomes in the ‘quantum state,’ quantum computing has the potential to provide a significant computational boost for machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) problems.
How Does Quantum Computing Work?
To understand how quantum computing works, you must first understand the distinction between conventional and quantum computing.
On conventional computers, information is encoded into binary digits called ‘bits.’ These bits can be in one of two states: zero or one. A qubit also has two possible states – zero, one, or both at once (superposition). This means that it can encode much more information than a binary digit. The physical world behaves according to quantum mechanics. So theoretically, if we want to simulate physical phenomena on a computer, we should also use quantum mechanical principles. We need to find an entirely new way of thinking about and building computers now that we have made the switching and memory units of computers, known as transistors, almost as small as an atom. Quantum computers are not intended to be an alternative to conventional computers; rather, they are expected to be a different tool that we will use to solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of a conventional computer. An intractable problem is one that requires more power and time than today’s computers can provide. These are the problems predicted to be solved by quantum computers. Things start to behave strangely when you enter the world of atomic and subatomic particles. Quantum computing takes advantage of this ability. We will be able to create processors that are significantly faster than those we use today by entering this quantum computing area where traditional laws of physics no longer apply. Although this sounds fantastic, the challenge is that quantum computing is also extremely complex.
That is why the computer industry is racing to make quantum computers commercially viable.
The Quantum Invention
Quantum computing’s practical applications are still being researched and tested. It is possible that in the future, quantum computers will be able to solve problems that were previously impossible to solve. For example, they have the potential to be used for modeling molecules or predicting how a molecule will behave under different conditions. We should also keep in mind that a quantum computer is not necessarily faster than a conventional computer; it is simply more powerful. That is, ‘running’ a program on a quantum computer will take the same amount of time as on a regular computer — but with much better results due to their increased power. Quantum computers will enable data storage and processing in ways that we cannot even imagine today. They also perform more complex calculations than conventional computers, allowing them to quickly solve problems that would take years to solve on a conventional computer. Scientists believe they can be used to calculate complex formulas indefinitely, making them an invaluable tool in medical science, AI technologies, aeronautical engineering, and other fields. Until now, quantum computing has been used to solve optimization problems that are too complex for conventional computer models. It’s also been used to investigate protein folding and drug interactions in the body. While it is unclear how much of an impact quantum computing will have on marketing in the future, there are already some significant applications taking place. One example is ad targeting, where companies can analyze customer behavior with astonishing precision by processing large amounts of data.
Quantum computing will be able to decrypt all of today’s encoding and encryption. The world of cybersecurity is changing as a result of quantum computing. Quantum computers can run complex simulations in parallel, making them much faster than conventional computers. Because of its ability to run simulations in parallel, quantum computing can quickly solve difficult problems. With the power of ML and AI, quantum computing will disrupt many industries, including defense, finance, healthcare, and education. The skeptics are correct in that quantum computing is still in its early stages and has a long way to go before it can be applied to neural networks. However, in a decade, ML and AI may reach another plateau due to insufficient computing power, and quantum computing may emerge to help in the advancement of AI.
It is still too early to tell whether quantum computing will have a significant impact on the development of ML and AI. There are certainly many promising developments, but there are still far too many unanswered questions.
Photo: Bartlomiej K. Wroblewski/shutterstock
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