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Quantum Supremacy Is Here: The History Making Quantum Computing News We Have Been Anticipating Has Now Been Reported

Months ago we began to formulate an assessment that a history-making announcement in quantum computing was about to be made. For years the big players in quantum research, including IBM, Microsoft and Google, have been pursuing different methods of using quantum effects to do new calculations. Google had even made announcements indicating they thought they could achieve history-making results in the near term. Because of all that we had been producing a series of reports aimed at making you as informed as possible on what breakthrough announcements in quantum computing could mean for your business strategy.

Today the Financial Times issued a report based on a Google document that is 100% in keeping with what we anticipated. According to the Financial Times, the Google quantum team has had breakthroughs in performance and can now prove that their quantum computing approach has resulted in a computer that is more powerful than any of the world’s top supercomputers. Reports are that the processor in this computer uses quantum effects in a way that allows massive calculations that would take 10,000 years on the fastest IBM supercomputer to be performed in three minutes. This point, where quantum computers can be proven to outperform traditional computers, is known as quantum supremacy.

(Note: other reports are that the documents the Financial Times and others have based their stories on have now been pulled for review by Google to ensure all facts have been peer reviewed, will be good to get a look at the base document of course before we build a final conclusion on what this means).

Overall Assessment: Yes, history was made. There is now, for the first time in history, a quantum computer that can out perform the greatest supercomputers ever built. However, lets keep this in context. The problem that it performed on is not anything that approximates a working business challenge, it is a math formula designed to benchmark the processor. There is a great deal more work required before this type of computer can really deliver on business workloads. Regarding the oft mentioned ability of future quantum computers to break some types of asymmetric encryption, there is no need to panic. This new quantum computer cannot read your encrypted data since it cannot run those algorithms. It may take another 5 or 10 years of work before quantum computers can break asymmetric codes like these, and by then hopefully we will have all been using quantum safe encryption.

So, the bottom line for now is, this particular news is exciting, but it will not cause the instantaneous disruption of industries. There is plenty of time to take a deep breath and think about what this means for your business strategy.

To do so, start with our Executive’s Guide To Quantum Computing.  This special report dives deep into what business decision-makers need to know now about quantum supremacy. This is a great starting point to update your business strategy to prepare for the near future of quantum. There are things you need to do, but you should do them out of a sense of being proactive, not out of panic.

Other key reports:

For more see OODA Loop Quantum Computing Reports


Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes Bob is the co-host of the popular podcast The OODAcast. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Find Bob on Defcon.Social