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  • Chinese scientists have announced their development of the most powerful quantum computer in the world.

  • It works 100 trillion times faster than the fastest supercomputers out, their president, Xi Jinping, has said.

  • Research and development in quantum science is an urgent matter of national concern, and the country has invested heavily in this technology, spending billions in recent years.

  • It has become a world leader in the field.

  • To the untrained eye, it may not look like much, but this is now the world's most powerful computer.

  • 20 years in the making.

  • Jiujiang is the brainchild of China's top scientists, who are now asserting their dominance in the race for quantum supremacy.

  • Wei Jang has shown outstanding quantum computational capability wear planning to use it for a quantum chemistry.

  • Research on graft theories, combinatorics research.

  • For it comes little more than a year after Google unveiled Sycamore, their own quantum computer.

  • Google researchers have achieved an incredible breakthrough in quantum computing.

  • Their machine needed seconds to perform tasks which conventional systems would require thousands of years to do.

  • The Chinese team say their light based technique is 10 billion times faster than Google's, a remarkable achievement.

  • It's a milestone in development of these intermediate scale quantum computers.

  • It is still early days, but scientists hope their achievement will lead to the technology unlocking rapid advancements and encryption.

  • On pharmaceutical analysis, we have Demetris and Glaucus, a scientist with the Center for Quantum Technologies, and Alex Capri of the Henrik Foundation.

  • Both are joining us from Singapore.

  • Demetris, I want to start with you.

  • Why does this news out of China matter?

  • Well, it matters because the massive, massive scientific breakthrough, first of all and being a scientist, I have to highlight that.

  • And it's the first time, or actually the second time, to be exact, that we have a quantum computer, a prototype quantum computer clearly outperforming classical computers.

  • First time was last year in the Google Labs in Santa Barbara, and this is the second time using a very different technology based on photos that a similar experiment has been made.

  • Now, how will the use of this technology impact people's lives?

  • Dimitris.

  • Well, we are.

  • We're talking about a completely different way of computing impossible things to compute classically so.

  • Although this demonstration has not achieved that its's a mathematical problem, the problem has been solved.

  • If you got a classical computer to do that, they would take a few millions or hundreds of thousands of years further down the line.

  • We hope that quantum computing with flowers to do impossible problems these days in biology and drug design in financial optimization, in route optimization and and environment as well.

  • So at the moment, we don't have the computational power toe tackle this very important problems that affect society in very different ways, including what we're living through Drug design in the states.

  • Very interesting.

  • I'm going to turn to Alex.

  • Uh, the Chinese government has funneled a lot of money into scientific research.

  • Why is that?

  • Well, look, this is part of a much broader techno nationalist approach to to advancing.

  • You know, Chinese interests when it comes to economics, National security, obviously geopolitics on.

  • Do you know this is a major priority?

  • Whether we're talking about the Made in China 2025 plan semiconductors, of course, is big.

  • Quantum computing is an area obviously they've been putting a lot of money into.

  • So this is a very important aspect of the of the overall trajectory that the that the Chinese Communist Party is striving for Dimitris from a scientific perspective is this China's Sputnik moment?

  • There's been so much news going on, I kind of feel as if this quantum development kind of got lost amidst all the covert stuff and everything.

  • But should we be paying more attention to this?

  • From a scientific perspective, that's a very good question.

  • Melissa It is.

  • In a sense, it is in a sense, and that's putting it.

  • It's out there.

  • It doesn't do much.

  • It just blips.

  • But it is there again.

  • It has its not the first time Google in the West has done it first.

  • And many other scientific labs around the world are working towards the same demonstration off often.

  • Impossible task for classical computer.

  • It will take us time before we go from this blip blip that Putin was doing to something like video calls by the satellites.

  • And if I want to do the analogy to the space race, But we are entering Andi already there, the quantum race, in that sense, uh, in many different Yeah.

  • Yeah, Well, one thing that I am trying to wrap my head around is just how much bigger of a quantum leap this Chinese development has been compared to the Google 11 of the things that I've been reading is that actually, the Google one wasn't really quite, you know, it didn't count somehow, um, help us sort of get a sense of just how much more technologically advanced this development has been.

  • Well, I wouldn't say it's more technologically advanced is different.

  • This is based on Fulton's the Google and was based on superconducting cubits, very different technologies.

  • At the moment.

  • We don't know the field is so early stages.

  • We don't know which one really be the final technology that will implement quantum computing.

  • I would put it at equal footing in a sense, the billions of years versus 10,000 years in the Google.

  • That's kind off the projected thing.

  • But on the other hand, the Chinese one was not re programmable.

  • You cannot really adjusted the way it is to run different algorithms except the specific problem.

  • So I would say both are really equally equally exciting for the field, definitely from the scientific side.

  • Mm.

  • Alex Demetrious has walked us through some of the applications of this technology.

  • What is the perspective of this from someone like you who studies techno nationalism and the competition we're seeing between the US and China.

  • And what is techno nationalism?

  • Well, look, techno nationalism is essentially when nation states ascribe the power and the prowess, if you will, of their local firms, their local champions, if you will, to national security, economic stability and strength and social stability as well.

  • So we're seeing all three of those in this emerging US China technology hybrid Cold War.

  • Um so I think, you know, I would I would go back to say that that the, you know, to put the Sputnik moment in historical context, you know, the United States Soviet Union, I would think that that Sputnik moment would be a bit more significant.

  • Um, you know, to jump forward now to this announcement that we've just had from the Chinese.

  • I think the reverse of that is going to be a second Moonshot, which has really been underway, right?

  • I think the United States, now on its European allies and other allies, are now going to start focusing on greater emphasis on R and D.

  • You know, greater emphasis on public private partnerships around making progress with, you know, all the the, you know, industries that are emerging and foundational for this next this next century.

  • Eso I think there really is there significance in that it will.

  • It will be a catalyst for that.

  • But I don't really I wouldn't call this, you know, a historic moment in the context of Sputnik Alex, the Pentagon, through the research arm, DARPA launched a program to advance quantum computing earlier this year.

  • It feels a little bit behind the curve, considering the development that we've just seen.

  • How would you assess the US China sort of technological race that we're seeing Alex.

  • So So what we will see Melissa is we will Seymour arm or R and d be shifted under the military industrial complex.

  • So stuff that might have been happening at, you know, R and D that might have been taking place exclusively at companies and maybe at universities and specialized institutions.

  • You will Seymour of that being shifted under the military.

  • Got it?

  • Sort of pent, if you will.

  • Demetrios Angle LaCasse and Alex Capri.

  • Thank you so much for joining us.

  • Thank you.

Chinese scientists have announced their development of the most powerful quantum computer in the world.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/15
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