Quantum computers will transform our world, curing cancer and fixing the climate crisis

David Shariatmadari in The Guardian:

Have you been feeling anxious about technology lately? If so, you’re in good company. The United Nations has urged all governments to implement a set of rules designed to rein in artificial intelligence. An open letter, signed by such luminaries as Yuval Noah Harari and Elon Musk, called for research into the most advanced AI to be paused and measures taken to ensure it remains “safe … trustworthy, and loyal”. These pangs followed the launch last year of ChatGPT, a chatbot that can write you an essay on Milton as easily as it can generate a recipe for everything you happen to have in your cupboard that evening.

But what if the computers used to develop AI were replaced by ones able to make calculations not millions, but trillions of times faster? What if tasks that might take thousands of years to perform on today’s devices could be completed in a matter of seconds? Well, that’s precisely the future that physicist Michio Kaku is predicting. He believes we are about to leave the digital age behind for a quantum era that will bring unimaginable scientific and societal change. Computers will no longer use transistors, but subatomic particles, to make calculations, unleashing incredible processing power. Another physicist has likened it to putting “a rocket engine in your car”. How are you feeling now?

More here.