May 4, 2016 will be remembered as the day that everyone said “May the fourth be with you” in honor of the Star Wars films. But in the tech world, it will be remembered as the day IBM announced anyone can use the quantum computing platform they’ve built via the IBM Cloud. In the IBM Press Release, they posit that quantum computing is the future and that it has the potential to solve problems that are not possible to solve on today’s computers. The cloud enabled platform labeled the IBM Quantum Experience enables users to run algorithms and experiments on IBM’s quantum processor, work with the individual quantum bits (qubits), and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing.
Some may ask, why are they providing access for free to such an advanced computing platform?
As Wired magazine states, “It’s an opportunity for IBM to show off its quantum computer and have outsiders review and approve their work.” Further in the Wired article David DiVincenzo, a professor at the Institute for Quantum Information at RWTH Aachen University and one of quantum computing’s earliest pioneers, believes the service will lead to more. “I think that someone out there will learn things about the behavior of this quantum computer that its developers never thought of.”
That’s the most important piece of the Wired article. By releasing the platform to the global community, some person or group of people, may use it and conceive of ideas not dreamt of by the team of scientists that built it. Collaborating with and learning from other people is the art of scientific breakthroughs.
Randall Smith – 1stel Project Manager