Scary Smart Computers

Is There A Better Mousetrap?

Has anyone ever told you that computers are basically dumb?  Yes, it’s true!  Computers can only count to 1.  In computer logic, a 1 is a “bit” that is on and a 0 is a “bit” that is off.  Eight of these bits are called “bytes”.  The way in which these bytes are used is called Binary.

It is in this archaic way of counting, stringing together long rows of 1’s and 0’s, in which  modern computers function.  And it is exactly how the human race has progressed so quickly these last 50 years.

The Great Leap Forward 

However, all that’s about to change.

The IBM researchers of their Quantum Computing Group announced yesterday that they are on the verge of a breathtaking computing breakthrough.

Without getting too technical, within the next 10 to 15 years, computers may well be able to string together more than just 1’s and 0’s. In essence, they would be able to deal with much more complex calculations.

Mark Ketchen, manager of the Physics of Information Group at IBM says that future computers that implement quantum technology could solve problems that would currently take supercomputers billions of years to calculate in just seconds, minutes or days.

So… What’s In It For Me?

Ok… so what does that mean to the average Joe on the street?

Just imagine a long calculation that your weatherman needs in order to tell you if it will rain in the next hour. Because he understandably doesn’t want to wait around… for the next billion years – He guesses.

However, if he had a computer with quantum ability, he could do the weather calculation accurately in about an hour.

Yep, you heard right!  Your weatherman could actually be right for a change!

More importantly, computers of this type would have more of an ability to think like we humans. The human brain processes hundreds if not thousands of bits of information at one time. A quantum computer could not only do that, but do it a whole lot faster than humans.

The Good, The Bad & The Scary

The world would change overnight!

And at the rate that technology moves, it’s easy to think that within a few years – this computing power could be in the hands of the general public.

Imagine even just a fraction of this computing power in your cell phone!

But there is a downfall – If powerful enough, these quantum computers could become sentient and think for themselves.

Talk about Science Fiction scary!

Would a world filled with such computing power have a place for simple mankind like us?

Like it or not, in about 10 to 15 years from now, we will find out.

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