Google and NASA Have a Quantum Computer (and they want you to know)


– Kim Stallknecht for The New York Times

Google and NASA are intent on making sure you’re aware that they’ve combined their talents to work on quantum computing in their Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.

With a slick and aggressively-designed video and bright eyes for the future, what could this mean for us?
The video put together by Google and NASA was submitted for the Imagine Films Science Festival, though it is apparent that the intent and reach goes much further.

There’s something undeniably appealing about the style presented here, which is a credit to director Jessica Brillhart’s skill. An aggressive track and stylized ’80s visuals combine with smartly cut scenes and lines that create an everyman’s introduction to the concept of quantum physics and what Google-NASA seek to do with it. It reminds us of the “cool things” Google is up to when it isn’t busy designing driverless cars or a cyborg-visor future, creating further positive association for the brand.

What’s truly compelling about this sneak peek into the partnership and its D-Wave super computers is the potential it has to change the way communications works. A major element cited in the video is data analytics and the solution of optimization problems. Quantum computers can better handle the problem of Big Data, providing more optimized and efficient solutions to the increasing growth of information available to us.

The benefits can potentially shock the entire world, though they are also pertinent in areas like journalism. Utilizing quantum computing to better analyze data in order to derive stories can provide direct information on trends and allow for the furthering of long-form, analytical journalism. This would allow for less reliance on commoditized news to easily fill the pages and continue the blandness journalism faces.

Of course, the benefits are not simply confined to that area. The expansion of capabilities in analyzing Big Data has groundshaking consequences for us all, and warrants further analysis in future posts.


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