Is There A Better Mousetrap?
Has anyone ever told you that computers are basically dumb? It's true! Computers can only count to 1.
In computer logic, a 1 is a "bit" that is on and a 0 is a "bit" that is off. Eight of these 1's or 0's are called a "bytes". Computers "think" by stringing these bytes together in what is called Binary computing. It is in this archaic way of stringing together long rows of 1's and 0's, in which computers function.
All of mankind's discoveries and advances in the modern age, at least for the last 50 years, have been accomplished with the old Binary System … up until now.
The Great Leap Forward
The world is about to change.
IBM researchers at their Quantum Computing Group announced yesterday that they are on the verge of a breathing computing breakthrough. Saving you the technical details, all you need to understand is that within the next 10 to 15 years, computers may well be able to string together more than just 1's and 0's.
In essence, they would be able to deal with much more complex calculations. Mark Ketchen, manager of the Physics of Information Group at IBM says that future computers could implement quantum technology in replacement of binary, and would be able to solve problems that would currently take supercomputers billions of years to calculate. Just think about it … Complex answers on everything from physics, design, architecture, medicine, space travel, energy, food production, genetics … the list is endless. And all of this is completed in just seconds, minutes or days, as opposed to lifetimes people and their supercomputers.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
So what does that mean to the average person on the street?
Just imagine you're going to a ball game. You're worried that it might rain. You flip to the weather report on the TV. But, in order to definitively tell you if it's going to rain or not, your weatherman needs to complete a long calculation, one that is impossible for him to calculate given current technology. So what does he do? He gives you his best guess, based upon the information he has, or lack there of. But it's still a guess!
However, if he had a computer with quantum ability, he could do a weather calculation accurately in about an hour. So what does that mean? Your weatherman could actually be right for a change!
More importantly, computers of this type would have more of an ability to think like humans because the human brain processes thousands of bits of information at one time – not just 1's and 0's.
A quantum computer would process more than 1's and 0's and … do it a whole lot faster than humans.
The Good, The Bad and The Scary
The world would change overnight!
And at the rate that technology moves, it's easy to believe that within a few years – this computing power could be in the hands of the general public.
Imagine even just a fraction of this computing power in your cell phone!
But there is a downfall – If powerful enough, these quantum computers could very well become sentient and think for themselves.
Talk about Science Fiction scary !
Would a world filled with such computing power have a place for simple mankind like us?
Like it or not, in about 10 to 15 years from now, we will find out.