It’s hard to believe now, but just four years ago, articles on quantum computing were a bit off when it came to capturing the attention of mainstream news consumers.
Oh what a difference a few years can make. You can’t open the science section on Google or Apple News today without seeing a nearly equal division between space and quantum physics stories.
The world fell in love with speculative science again thanks to quantum computing and artificial intelligence, and I couldn’t be happier.
I believe that quantum computing has the ability to impact our species in a way that nothing less than the appearance of a physical God or the arrival of an advanced extraterrestrial benefactor can.
I am not the only person who feels this way. Many experts believe that the exploitation of quantum mechanics revolutionize our understanding of the universe and propel our species towards a final understanding of everything.
But what does all that hyperbole mean? It’s easy to spit up optimistic platitudes. The real challenge, when it comes to speculative science, is predicting what this amazing quantum future will mean for the common person.
So, let’s put on our rose-tinted glasses and take a look at exactly what might It will happen if all goes well and the dice fall in our favor.
We have been studying diseases for thousands of years. In the modern era, we have discovered vaccination, life-saving treatments, and cures for afflictions that have persisted longer than recorded in history.
But there is still a lot of work to do. Diseases like cancer remain uncured and are horribly prolific.
Quantum computers could change that. Creating a treatment or cure for something as complex as cancer is tremendously difficult.
The sheer number of chemical combinations in the world is enough to bog down even the most powerful supercomputers. But quantum computing can increase our ability to discover new chemical and drug interactions by factors.
With the potential power of a near-future quantum computing system, it is perfectly feasible to imagine a world where disease and illness are a thing of the past.
Peace out, war
To the inward-looking outsider, it may seem that humans love little more than destroying each other. Quantum computing could help us a lot in that endeavor: If we are going to discover massively destructive technologies like cold fusion or planet-destroying death rays, it will probably be through the use of quantum computers.
However, it could also make war obsolete. There is hope for a distant future in which people with incompatible ideological differences can move away from Earth and forge their own dominance on a planet far, far away.
And we can always hope that solving humanity’s greatest problems of disease, hunger and poverty can suddenly make us stop wanting to kill each other.
But this is not an article on philosophy.
Quantum algorithms running on advanced computers could possibly make personal deflector shields (as a combination between a force field Y a super fast drone) a real thing. We may be able to develop passive defensive technologies that render kinetic attacks useless in most personal scenarios.
Picture it: you are walking down the street without a care in the world when an evil robber jumps out of a dark alley. The robber demands your money, you say no, and POW: they shoot you.
Only your AI intercedes by standing between you and the bullet. He then proceeds to alert the authorities on his own, send pictures, and handle all interrogations as you keep walking carefree in the world.
On a military scale, there could easily be a point where quantum algorithms end up representing a version of the movie. War games where, instead of coming to the conclusion that mutual assured destruction is inevitable, the machine comes to understand that a great defense defeats a great offense.
We could come to a standstill in our ability to inflict massive destruction on each other due to the difficulty of passing a missile through defenses based on quantum technology. And quantum communications, data teleportation, and other adjacent technologies could also make cyberattacks nearly impossible.
Fuck your hunger
We live on a planet where a handful of people have more money than they could spend in a thousand years, but more than 3 million children. starve every year.
Quantum computers can do what the world’s billionaires, big tech, and governments refuse to do: solve the problem of hunger.
The same technology that would drive drug discovery and cold fusion machines could potentially be used to discover nutritionally viable food synthesis methods.
In essence, that would mean the invention of a machine that could produce food from available environmental resources, such as a 3D printer that produces a nutritionally viable food paste from air and sludge or replicator from Star trek.
Don’t let the door hit you on your bony butt on the way out, Death
Ultimately, however, there should only be one true goal for the optimistic technologist: human immortality.
Solving disease, eradicating hunger, and mitigating our ability to harm each other would go a long way toward increasing our collective life expectancy.
After all, imagine how many people smarter than Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking died of dysentery as children or as civilian victims of one of the countless wars our species has been involved in since the dawn of time. Who knows how much knowledge we’ve left on the table over the years due to sheer bad luck.
But even more than the fact that the preservation of individual lives would be a rising tide that lifts our species, we can imagine a paradigm in which quantum medical diagnostic tools give us the ability to find, isolate and correct the flaws in our DNA. .
There are those who believe that aging can be slowed down or even reversed depending on theories involving the elasticity of certain cellular components (called telomeres). While there is currently no clear path to turning this information into an actionable counterattack to the cruelty of aging, it is obvious that we would need quantum computers to run the algorithms that could one day optimize our biology by realigning our DNA and cellular composition. . weather.
It is impossible, from our small point of view, to know what the future holds. These technologies may never come to fruition or they could end up dominating the news cycle next year if lightning strikes Google Labs and a few more major eurekas happen in the field.
The important thing now is that there is hope. If a deity never emerges to show us the error of our ways or if aliens never show up to solve all of our problems for us, we still have a potential way out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.
And besides, everyone has to believe in something, right?