Google, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and other key U.S. companies are set to attend a White House quantum computing meeting to be held on Monday, Reuters reports.
A groundbreaking technology still in its infancy, quantum computing could have a major impact on transportation, healthcare, communications, weather forecasting, artificial intelligence, and other areas. Quantum computing could, experts claim, revolutionize our society.
Technopedia defines a quantum computer as a “computer that operates on and/or incorporates aspects of quantum theory.”
Quantum computers are, however, “largely theoretical because of the massive amount of data needed to make them perform significantly,” but some practical models have been developed.
Quantum computing carries national security implications as well, since this technology could potentially crack programs in use today. This is why the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is organizing the meeting, according to Reuters.
Apart from Google, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., representatives from Northop Grumman, AT&T, Intel, Goldman Sachs Group, Lockheed Martin Corp, and Honeywell International will also be in attendance.
Company leaders and representatives will meet with government officials from the National Security Agency (NSA), Pentagon, NASA, White House National Security Council, and the federal departments of homeland security, energy, and agriculture, to name a few.
This meeting will, according to IBM’s vice president of technology policy Tim Sheehy, get “academia, government, industry together,” with the goal of making their “individual efforts into a greater collective whole.”
Quantum computing “will enable us to predict and improve chemical reactions, new materials and their properties, as well as provide new understandings of spacetime and the emergence of our universe,” the White House said, nothing that the technology could actualize within a decade.
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According to the Financial Times, companies like Microsoft and IBM are already engaged in an arms race of sorts, competing against each other, creating software for quantum computers. The problem is that developers have to build software for computers that do not exist yet.
According to FT, Bill Gates’ Microsoft became one of the first U.S. companies to begin serious development in the field of quantum computing, but other tech firms are catching up, developing strategies of their own.
In one of his most recent books, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called quantum computing the tech industry’s “arms race.” This race is, according to Nadella, as important as the Artificial Intelligence arms race, but it has gone largely unnoticed by the general public.
The upcoming White House meeting between government officials and leading U.S. companies could perhaps help quantum computing part of of the American national dialogue.