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Is quantum computing worth the leaps of faith? [Status Report]

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As an editor, I often gave my writers this admonition: Never promise something without having established at least one feasible means of delivery. A promise should never be something to which one resorts in the absence of reason, otherwise every marriage would be predicated upon perjury. As a writer, I’ve learned to omit the word “promise” from my commitments, because editors tend to interpret “I promise” more as a statement of desperation than commitment.

It is in that context that we can confidently assert quantum computing has an abundance of promises . If it ends up working, QC will enable the class of large, complex matrix calculations that comprise the bulk of machine learning work, to be executed in moments rather than days, or moments rather than years — or, with enough data in hand, moments rather than centuries. There is a weirdness in physics that we don’t really comprehend, but maybe we don’t have to comprehend it to acknowledge it. We may very well have to comprehend it anyway, however, in order to make good use of it.

If this is your first ZDNet Status Report , here’s how it works: Here, we systematically evaluate the potential for technologies to […]

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