Science: The Quantum Revolution Is Imminent

Artificial intelligence.

Human beings have always been fascinated and terrified by robots and AI (artificial intelligence). (Image: Screenshot via Youtube)

Over the past years, the scientific community has made several breakthroughs in quantum computing. This has brought human society to the precipice of a mind-blowing revolution. Here are the five ways quantum computing will change the way we live.

1. Artificial Intelligence

AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies are currently limited by the conventional computers we use today. Artificial Intelligence works by accumulating knowledge, making decisions, identifying mistakes, and modifying itself so that it never repeats the mistake. In short, an AI evolves with experience. As more data is fed in, AI networks can get very complicated. One variable might have numerous connections to other variables. To keep track of all these connections while adding in new data and connections is something that requires huge computing power. With quantum computing, such calculations become easier. As a result, AI technologies will see a tremendous leap forward.  

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2. Cryptography

When quantum computing becomes mainstream, it will have good and bad implications for security. On the bad side, most of the data encryption methods used today will become obsolete in front of a quantum computer. This will essentially put a large chunk of government, military, and financial data at risk of being hacked. On the good side, researchers have already started using quantum computing for cryptography. For instance, quantum key distribution method will require the receiver to have a digital key to access a message. If anyone tampers with the data while it is en-route to the receiver, the tampering can instantly be recognized. As such, security systems will eventually become stronger with quantum computing.  

3. Molecular chemistry

New materials can be developed thanks to quantum computing’s ability to model optimum configurations of chemical reactions. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Today’s computers can only analyze simple molecules. Quantum computers will be able to find out optimum configurations of chemical reactions. This will make it possible to create new materials. For instance, quantum computing can help us develop materials as thin as a thread yet harder than diamond. The molecular structure of fertilizers can be optimized so that pollution resulting from such products is minimized. Everything from carrying bags to rockets will start using new materials that will be far superior to existing ones.

4. Weather forecasts

Forecasting weather involves numerous variables. The limitations of conventional computers also limit our climate modeling abilities. The power of a quantum computer will enable climatologists to model weather patterns more accurately. According to estimates, almost a third of U.S. GDP is affected by the weather directly or indirectly. Weather models created by quantum computers can help us deal with possible storms, crop damage, etc., in a better way. Plus, the human effects on climate can be analyzed more deeply, helping us unravel the areas we need to focus on to prevent global warming.

5. Logistics

Efficient supply chain networks ensure that the products are transferred between destinations without incurring any wastage. Inefficient logistics is one of the biggest reasons why so much food gets wasted. For instance, India is estimated to waste almost 40 percent of the food it produces due to poor supply chain networks. In the U.S., better supply chain infrastructure is projected to save almost US$270 billion worth of food annually. Using conventional computers to calculate real-time logistics networks is almost impossible since these systems can only calculate permutations and compare them only one at a time. A quantum computer will make such large-scale calculations swiftly, enabling us to build better supply chains and minimize wastage.

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