"In any event, quantum computing is coming, and it is coming soon. Countries all over the world are working on it right now. Where will this lead us? Hopefully, to a brighter future. However, if we are not careful, the Terminator movies might end up looking more like science than science fiction."
If you ever want to make your head spin, try reading up on quantum computing sometime. Now, I know a bit about computing, as I worked at two large computing companies (CDC and IBM). But what I learned back, then was "dark ages" as compared to what is in the offing today. Even "normal" computing is about to cross the border of super speeds. In 2021, it is projected we will have a processor which can perform an exaflop (that would be a billion billion calculations per second). However, that speed will be whiter than pale, if we can get quantum computing up and running.
Even scientists have a hard time explaining quantum computing. All they know is this - this type of computing is possible, and maybe even plausible. Instead of ones and zeroes, it will use both at the same time. How that will work, is way, way above my pay grade. All I know is what I have read. If (a big if) we can get quantum computing to work, a quantum computer will be a million times faster than the fastest super computer on Earth.
Welcome to the world of qubit computing. To say this is heady stuff, is a vast understatement. But let's just for a minute suppose that in five years, we (somebody) develops a functional 50 qubit computer. Then what? What can this do for us, or better yet - to us?
First - what it can do for us. As the old cigarette commercial would say, "We have come a long way baby!" From the Wright Brothers to landing on the Moon in less than a hundred years. Most of that improvement was done with good old human thinking, and the help of some rudimentary computers. With quantum computing, we will have machines which can think in blazing speeds. Do computations faster than a billion, billion, million times a second.
Imagine in five years, if quantum computing can come up with a cure for cancer. Not treatment - a cure. Or, a new propulsion system, which will take us from our solar system, to the far reaches of outer space - in a fraction of the time it would take today. How about a totally efficient fuel cell which costs very little, produces no pollution, and has an unlimited supply of fuel? Or new materials we have not yet thought of, which are lightweight, inexpensive, and many times stronger than steel. The things quantum computing could come up with are endless and exciting.
However - here is the other side of the coin. Quantum computing will make cyber security measures, all but obsolete. It will be able to figure out any puzzle. Then there is AI. With the advent of this type of computing power, this might be the long awaited "on ramp" for machine learning AI. When that happens, we might start sliding down the rabbit hole. Machine learning AI could be very good for mankind, or potentially, the end of mankind.
In any event, quantum computing is coming, and it is coming soon. Countries all over the world are working on it right now. Where will this lead us? Hopefully, to a brighter future. However, if we are not careful, the Terminator movies might end up looking more like science than science fiction.