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Quantum Computing: Blessing or Risk?

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From research and finance to healthcare and aerospace: Quantum computing is opening up new possibilities for solving some of the most pressing issues of our time. “Some people say that quantum computing, not AI, will define our future,” said Gabi Dreo Rodosek who moderated this DLD Munich 2020 panel discussion. The in-depth conversation brought together Jan Goetz, Co-Founder of IQM Quantum Computers; digital safety expert Helmut Leopold (Austrian Institute of Technology); Lena-Sophie Müller (Initiative D21); Heike Riel (IBM); and Grazia Vittadini (Airbus).

In October 2019, Google and NASA announced that they had achieved “quantum supremacy”. What does that mean, and what are the implications? The term quantum supremacy, Riel explained, refers to the goal of demonstrating that a quantum computer can vastly outperform a classical computer – a feat “that’s very difficult to do”. The IBM researcher disputed the claim and warned the audience about the dangers of building up too much hype around quantum computing before the technology’s capabilities have been proven.

While there’s been a lot of progress in the realm in the couple of decades, Goetz agreed that we’re still in the early phases of this technology. “At the moment, there’s no market for it yet,” he said. “There needs to be more education within society so people understand what quantum means and to take away some of the fear around it.”

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