Quantum Computing – Perhaps the Singularity is Near?

Matrix looks like a real, relatively near term possibility. Not far after, Singularity. Capital “S” because ryhmes with “Godhead.” My theology has always had room for “God” being both the beginning and end of evolution…after all, He describes Himself as the “Alpha and Omega.”

Now, quantum computing progress, notably from IBM, suggests we are close to working machines that pretty   much take time out of the equation…literally.

“Quantum scientists at IBM Research have announced major advances in quantum computing that could place real, practical quantum computers in businesses and homes within the next 10 years.

The main breakthrough revolves around the long-term integrity of qubits. To perform quantum computing, you need to be able to reliably store and interrogate qubits — but qubits are incredibly flighty creatures that readily change their state through decoherence. IBM has created a high-coherence 3D qubit that retains its state for up to 100 microseconds, or 0.1 milliseconds. This is stable enough that engineers can now shift their focus to scaling up the number of qubits to create a quantum logic computer.

In a separate experiment, IBM created a 3-qubit chip (die pictured right; complete chip above) using conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques, which was then used to perform a controlled-NOT logic operation with a 95% success rate. This kind of success rate is unheard of in quantum computers, and again comes down to the fact that IBM has managed to create qubits with relatively high stability (10 microseconds in this case). IBM is confident that this experiment paves the way to multi-qubit logic chips.

All in all, IBM Research is now saying that bona fide quantum computers are now just 10 to 15 years away. Why is this significant? Well, put it this way: According to IBM, 250 qubits would be able to store “more bits of information than there are atoms in the universe.

This in itself is incomprehensible — but then when you factor in that a quantum computer could perform logic on all of that data, in parallel, instantaneously… well, you begin to see the power of quantum computing. ”

With all due respect, Mr. Writer, no you don’t.  Neither do I.  Neither does anyone else.

Well, kinda sorta. Looks like the main thing that confronts us is learning how to use it. These machines won’t solve problems using any existing algorithms and we really only know how to factor and a couple of theoretical things we can do with them. For one thing, distance quantum teleportation has been demonstrated up to 60 miles by the Chinese, and there is (literally) no theoretical limit to how far such teleportation can be achieved. That means totally undecipherable encryption key transmission will likely be the first use of these devices.

However, such use is quite literally the “child’s play” of a newly hatched technological civilization. Speculation on implications?

Well, it occurs to me this could be the reason we haven’t heard from anyone yet or been visited by the Vogons. There may not be any “star faring” civilizations not because of Einstein, but because that isn’t the way it works. We may never settle the solar system because this development may make such technology and our physical manifestations irrelevant. It’s imaginable that this path leads us to Singularity with All.  Before you giggle yourself to death, consider the science we know to be true.  1800 planets within 50 light years with quite a few in the “goldilocks” zone.  Untold millions of these in the universe.  I don’t know how long after the Big Bang it was before planetary systems formed, but let’s just say a couple of billion.  That means there were life forms evolving billions of years before this earth was formed.  Where are they now?

What if: Reality as we know it is an abstraction layer of the quantum world…which IS reality.  No wonder such mullings over the centuries as “We all exist in the mind of God” and similar.  No wonder Lao Tzu, the Buddha, Christ, and others had such an awful time trying to tell us what “reality” was like.  Lao Tzu got through to me first by clearly…if repetitively over some 5,000 characters and 81 repetitions on the same idea… that the temporal cannot comprehend the non-temporal.  However, he did NOT say the temporal could not interact with the non-temporal.  Now, we stand on the threshold of that interaction and instead of on our knees, stuffed in cracks of the wailing wall, or prayer wheels we eliminate the abstraction layer with qubits.

I cannot know at this time whether I will live to experience the results of this, that which may well be the most critical event in the evolution of life on this planet.  However, I firmly believe my son will.

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