Researchers have made a breakthrough in quantum computing, the new frontier in today’s information economy. As the BBC reports, IBM scientists have pioneered a new method for correcting errors, paving a possible road past one of the technology’s biggest obstacles:
[Q]uantum machines [theoretically have] much greater computational power than conventional types. But quantum information is fragile, and errors in calculations carried out in a quantum system can creep in through interference from factors such as heat, electromagnetic radiation and defects in materials.
Controlling or removing such errors is one of the great challenges for harnessing the power of quantum computing…Prof Alan Woodward, a computing expert from the University of Surrey, UK, said the work represented a step forward, but was a “significant evolution” rather than a “revolution”.
Even as the world staggers and reels from the impacts of the information revolution, there is much more yet to come. The pace of technological change is accelerating, and while much of it is iterative, on aggregate it promises enormously creative and disruptive solutions to problems that may seem insurmountable today.
The Malthusians of the world choose to see humanity in the worst possible light, as some kind of blight on pristine nature, but fortunately our future is not nearly as bleak as they’d have you believe. Technology is moving our economies away from industrial production to information manipulation, and the farther we travel into that transition, the more we’re finding ourselves able to do more with less. That intensification can expedite development around the world even as it lessens the impact we have on our surrounding environment, and as scary as these rapid changes may appear, they hold plenty of promise for future generations.