How Google’s Quantum Computer Could Change the World

The ultra-powerful machine has the potential to disrupt everything from science and medicine to national security—assuming it works

 A reliable, large-scale quantum computer could transform industries from AI to chemistry, accelerating machine learning and engineering new materials, chemicals and drugs.

..  “People ask, ‘Well, is it a thousand times faster? Is it a million times faster?’ It all depends on the application. It could do things in a minute that we don’t know how to do classically in the age of the universe. For other types of tests, a quantum computer probably helps you only modestly or, in some cases, not at all.”

.. Qubits, on the other hand, are like coins spinning through the air in a coin toss, showing both sides at once.

.. The computing power of a data center stretching several city blocks could theoretically be achieved by a quantum chip the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

.. Unlike classical computers, quantum computers don’t test all possible solutions to a problem. Instead, they use algorithms to cancel out paths leading to wrong answers, leaving only paths to the right answer—and those algorithms work only for certain problems. This makes quantum computers unsuited for everyday tasks like surfing the web

.. Quantum computers are also subject to high error rates, which has led some scientists and mathematicians to question their viability. Google and other companies say the solution is error-correction algorithms, but those algorithms require additional qubits to check the work of the qubits running computations. Some experts estimate that checking the work of a single qubit will require an additional 100.

.. Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist, put it this way: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

Feynman was one of the first to introduce the idea of a quantum computer. In a 1981 lecture

.. investment has surged, with projects under way at Google, Microsoft, IBM and Intel Corp

..  D-Wave ..  the company’s $15 million 2000Q model is useful only for a narrow category of data analysis

.. Companies and governments are scrambling to prepare for what some call Y2Q, the year a large-scale, accurate quantum computer arrives, which some experts peg at roughly 2026

.. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 showed that the NSA is building its own quantum computer as part of an $80 million research program called Penetrating Hard Targets

.. Experts believe their biggest near-term promise is to supercharge machine learning and AI, two rapidly growing fields—and businesses. Neven of Google says he expects all machine learning to be running on quantum computers within the decade.

.. In May, IBM unveiled a chip with 16 qubits

..  John Martinis, Google’s head of quantum hardware, in which he let slip that Google had a 22-qubit chip.

.. “If you were to vibrate this frame, you can actually see the temperature rise on the thermometer,


Google and its peers will likely sell quantum computing via the cloud, possibly charging by the second.

.. Neven’s team in Southern California is racing to finish the 49-qubit chip

Uber Document Shows Ex-Google Engineer Possessed Secret Files

Due-diligence report revealed Anthony Levandowski had Google files on its self-driving-car project, including 50,000 emails

.. Waymo said the report shows Mr. Levandowski stole Google files, accessed them after leaving the company and tried to destroy the evidence. “Knowing all of this, Uber paid $680 million for Mr. Levandowski’s company, protected him from legal action, and installed him as the head of their self-driving-vehicle program,”
.. Investigators said in the report that, during one interview, they caught Mr. Levandowski trying to empty the trash bin on his computer. And another former Google employee searched the internet for instructions to secretly delete files from his computer before interviews with investigators, according to the report.

Fake News Fills Information Vacuum in Wake of Las Vegas Shooting

False information on the 4chan website made it to the top of Google search results before being debunked.

As law enforcement and news organizations raced to piece together what happened during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history Sunday night in Las Vegas, web denizens less wedded to the truth rushed in to provide details of their own—which quickly went viral.

Links to the 4chan website that falsely identified the shooter and called him a leftist and Democratic supporter were showing up on the top of Google search results, according to tweets by Buzzfeed News reporter, Ryan Broderick. Conservative writer Joe Hoft pounced, publishing and then retracting an article about the misidentified man. Police later identified a different person, Stephen Paddock, as the shooter.

.. A few hours later, searches for the same name were showing articles debunking the 4chan post and cataloguing the trail of viral fake news after the shooting. Once police identified Paddock, accounts on Twitter and Facebook began claiming he was part of the leftist group Antifa.

I criticized Google. It got me fired. That’s how corporate power works.

Antimonopoly law, I learned, dates to the founding of our nation. It is, in essence, an extension of the concept of checks and balances into the political economy. One goal of antimonopoly law is to ensure that every American has liberty, to change jobs when they want, to create a small business or small farm if they want, to get access to the information they want. Another goal of antimonopoly is to ensure that our democratic institutions are not overwhelmed by wealth and power concentrated in the hands of the few.

.. since the early days of the Reagan Administration, power over almost all forms of economic activity in America has been steadily concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

.. As hospitals continue to merge into giant chains, for example, they are able to pass along ever higher prices without having to worry about losing business to competitors. And anyone who flies these days can attest to what happens when just four airlines control 80 percent of the market.

..It means that fewer and fewer companies are competing for our labor, allowing employers to gain more and more power not only over how we do business, but also how over we speak, think and act.

.. his last June 27, my group published a statement praising the European Union for fining Google for violating antitrust law. Later that day I was told that Google — which provides substantial support to other programs at New America — said they wanted to sever all ties with the organization. Two days later I was told that the entire team of my Open Markets Program had to leave New America by September 1.

.. No think tank wants to appear beholden to the demands of its corporate donors. But in this instance, that’s exactly the case. I — and my entire team of journalists and researchers  at Open Markets — were let go because the leaders of my think tank chose not to stand up to Google’s threats.

.. But today we are failing. Not only are we not preventing concentration of power over our economy and our media. We are not protecting the groups that are working to prevent and reverse that concentration of power.