Quantum computing has ushered in a new area of information technology. An international arms race to develop quantum computers has steadily grown more competitive and more critical.
China reached the early pole position by unveiling the worlds first quantum communication landline connecting Beijing with Shanghai like no two other cities in history. The first quantum encrypted Skype call was also made, that same day, by the Chinese. It was only possible because of the worlds first quantum satellite, known as Micius.
Visit Hard Fork.
Its clear that quantum technology promises to usher in a new era of computing. And other countries are already staking their claim, vying to be the nation that ultimately emerges as the world leader.
Beyond its image as a booster for communications, quantum computing also poses a very real threat to data protection with its proven ability to quickly crack most codes.
Only the lack of large scale quantum computers is holding back the ability to shred todays encryption. And both criminals and nation-states are capturing as much encrypted data as they can now, with the expectation that quantum computers will eventually be able to crack current protections.
China and other nations are investing heavily in research and development for quantum computers as well as technology that could, theoretically, prevent hacking by quantum supercomputers. If the United States fails to develop a similarly strong quantum infrastructure, all of todays protected data could be at risk.
This includes military data that would directly impact operational security (OPSEC), which is the critical communications in any military mission.
While OPSEC is one major potential vulnerability, other systems could be targeted. The financial and medical sectors come to mind. Both industries play pivotal roles in American life and have access to important data.
A sufficiently advanced quantum computer could theoretically decrypt and break into a mass of bank accounts or patient records in very little time.
Spending on technology across the board is projected to grow over the next few years as computing advances. The United States Department of Defense has requisitioned $899 million for computer science research. While this research focuses largely on quantum computing, the requested amount is only .000046% of the total gross domestic product (GDP).
Meanwhile, China is investing much more heavily in quantum computing. While their exact government spending is unknown, a new research laboratory costing approximately $10 billion was recently built in China for the express purpose of researching quantum technology.
The total amount being spent by the Chinese government dwarfs the investment by the United States, and that deficit does not appear to close over the next five to ten years.
In order to keep a secure infrastructure, the United States must prioritize the digital space. The digital theater is likely the next major area of operations as countries try to grab sensitive information.
A situation like this was mentioned in Tom Clancys excellently researched Threat Vector. In the book, the Chinese use superior technology to disrupt American businesses and pilfer sensitive documents. Its not unlike what could very well be happening right now in anticipation of quantum computing advances.
While Threat Vector is fiction, there are some harsh realities facing the United States should it fail to remain competitive in this critical area. Beyond the obvious theft of sensitive data and mission critical secrecy is the loss of jobs or potential jobs as quantum computing is developed and designed offshore.
For the United States to remain at the cutting edge, it will need to create its own quantum network to allow for unbreakable lines of secure communication, like what is happening in China.
We are also in vital need of quantum-proof encryption such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) that can be applied as soon as possible. Our most critical data needs to be safe from future quantum computers and their expected ability to more easily crack todays encryption.
American companies like Microsoft, Intel, Google, IBM,and others are conducting research and development into quantum technologies, but will likely require assistance from the government. After all, government backing has been at the root of most technical marvels of everyday life such as microchips, GPS, touch screens, Googles search engine and the Internet.
The biggest competitor within quantum computing is China, which is likely the worlds frontrunner, but there are others. Russia is also pushing the boundaries. Spearheaded by the Russian Quantum Center, Russia announced a breakthrough by designing a quantum computer that can reliably solve basic computations faster than anything else today.
Even North Korea has stated that they intend to develop quantum computers. While its unknown how much North Korea has invested in this program, the fact that they are tossing their hat in the ring is troubling.
The United States cant afford to come in second in the global quantum arms race, especially to any country that has been adversarial or downright antagonistic in the past.
In a quantum world, the speeds are so fast and the numbers so large, that second place really doesnt mean very much. There is the leader in quantum computing, and then there is everyone else.
The United States has an incredible ability to compete on the world stage in anything. The effort just needs the proper investment, manpower and directive. Quantum computing is a race where we can compete, and one that we absolutely must win.
Read next: Task Pigeon will get your whole office cranking out projects and now its 90% off
- How Does Quantum Computing Work? - ExtremeTech - January 31st, 2019
- Quantum technology - Wikipedia - January 23rd, 2019
- CES 2019: IBM's Q System One Is the Rock Star Quantum ... - January 13th, 2019
- Quantum Computing | The MIT Press - January 11th, 2019
- IBM thinks outside of the lab, puts quantum computer in a box - January 11th, 2019
- IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer - January 9th, 2019
- A new type of quantum computer has smashed every record ... - December 21st, 2018
- China bet big on quantum computing. Now the US races to ... - October 26th, 2018
- US takes first step toward a quantum computing workforce ... - September 17th, 2018
- China bet big on quantum computing. Now the ... - money.cnn.com - September 17th, 2018
- The reality of quantum computing could be just three years ... - September 12th, 2018
- Quantum Computing | USRA - August 30th, 2018
- What Is Quantum Computing? The Complete WIRED Guide | WIRED - August 22nd, 2018
- Quantum Computing Market Research Report- Forecast 2022 | MRFR - August 1st, 2018
- Two Quantum Computing Bills Are Coming To Congress - July 5th, 2018
- Senate bills would make quantum computing a priority - June 10th, 2018
- What is quantum computing? - Definition from WhatIs.com - February 5th, 2018
- The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy ... - January 26th, 2018
- IBM puts its quantum computer to work in relaxing, nerdy ASMR ... - January 8th, 2018
- Quantum computing is going to change the world. Here's what ... - January 8th, 2018
- Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain ... - December 25th, 2017
- What is Quantum Computing? | SAP News Center - December 23rd, 2017
- Quantum Computing Explained | What is Quantum Computing? - December 21st, 2017
- New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers - December 14th, 2017
- Microsoft offers developers a preview of its quantum ... - December 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is the Next Big Security Risk | WIRED - December 8th, 2017
- Yale Professors Race Google and IBM to the First Quantum ... - November 16th, 2017
- IBM's processor pushes quantum computing ... - engadget.com - November 16th, 2017
- Quantum computing - news.microsoft.com - November 1st, 2017
- Intel Takes First Steps To Universal Quantum Computing - October 13th, 2017
- Qudits: The Real Future of Quantum Computing? - IEEE Spectrum - October 13th, 2017
- quantum computing - engadget.com - October 13th, 2017
- Quantum Computing | Intel Newsroom - October 13th, 2017
- What will you actually use quantum computing for? | ZDNet - October 11th, 2017
- Here's what quantum computing is and why it matters - October 6th, 2017
- Microsoft just upped its multi-million bet on quantum computing - ZDNet - September 7th, 2017
- Microsoft's Aussie quantum computing lab set to scale up next-gen ... - ARNnet - September 7th, 2017
- An Entirely New Type of Quantum Computing Has Just Been Invented - Futurism - September 7th, 2017
- Quantum computing event explores the implications for business - Cambridge Network - August 30th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is Coming at Us Fast, So Here's Everything You Need to Know - ScienceAlert - August 27th, 2017
- How quantum mechanics can change computing - San Francisco ... - San Francisco Chronicle - August 25th, 2017
- Commonwealth Bank investing in Australia's first quantum computer company - Which-50 (blog) - August 25th, 2017
- How quantum mechanics can change computing - The Conversation US - August 23rd, 2017
- Introducing Australia's first quantum computing hardware company - Computerworld Australia - August 23rd, 2017
- IEEE Approves Standards Project for Quantum Computing ... - insideHPC - August 23rd, 2017
- $495.3 Million Quantum Computing Market 2017 by Revenue Source, Application, Industry, and Geography - Global ... - PR Newswire (press release) - August 18th, 2017
- Physicists Have Made Exotic Quantum States From Light - Futurism - August 16th, 2017
- Machine learning tackles quantum error correction - Phys.Org - August 15th, 2017
- Quantum Internet Is 13 Years Away. Wait, What's Quantum Internet? - WIRED - August 15th, 2017
- Blind quantum computing for everyone - Phys.org - Phys.Org - August 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open ... - WIRED - August 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Market Worth 495.3 Million USD by 2023 | 08 ... - Markets Insider - August 10th, 2017
- China uses a quantum satellite to transmit potentially unhackable data - CNBC - August 10th, 2017
- Physicists Take Big Step Towards Quantum Computing and ... - Universe Today - August 1st, 2017
- Why you might trust a quantum computer with secretseven over ... - Phys.Org - July 12th, 2017
- Quantum-computer node uses two different ion species - physicsworld.com - July 10th, 2017
- Quantum Computers vs Bitcoin How Worried Should We Be? - The Merkle - July 10th, 2017
- Quantum cheques could be a forgery-free way to move money - New Scientist - July 10th, 2017
- Technique for measuring and controlling electron state is a ... - UCLA Newsroom - July 9th, 2017
- Quantum Computers Made Even More Powerful with New microchip generating 'Qudits' - TrendinTech - July 8th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Record Broken - Wall Street Pit - July 8th, 2017
- Alkermes and IBM's quantum computing. Who'll be the big winner? Malcolm Berko - Durham Herald Sun - July 6th, 2017
- Qudits: The Real Future of Quantum Computing? - IEEE Spectrum - IEEE Spectrum - July 1st, 2017
- Google to Achieve "Supremacy" in Quantum Computing by the End of 2017 - Big Think - July 1st, 2017
- Quantum Computing Becomes More Accessible - Scientific American - July 1st, 2017
- Tektronix AWG Pulls Test into Era of Quantum Computing - Electronic Design - June 2nd, 2017
- Toward mass-producible quantum computers | MIT News - MIT News - June 2nd, 2017
- Purdue, Microsoft Partner On Quantum Computing Research | WBAA - WBAA - June 2nd, 2017
- IBM boosts power of quantum computing processors as it lays ... - www.computing.co.uk - May 22nd, 2017
- IBM makes leap in quantum computing power - ITworld - May 22nd, 2017
- The Bizarre Quantum Test That Could Keep Your Data Secure - WIRED - May 18th, 2017
- Molecular magnets closer to application in quantum computing - Next Big Future - May 15th, 2017
- Inside Microsoft's 'soup to nuts' quantum computing ramp-up - Computerworld Australia - April 29th, 2017
- Quantum computing is about to disrupt the government contracts market - Bloomberg Government (blog) - April 22nd, 2017
- Scientists: We Have Detected the Existence of a Fundamentally New State of Matter - Futurism - April 22nd, 2017
- What Sorts Of Problems Are Quantum Computers Good For? - Forbes - April 22nd, 2017
- quantum computing - WIRED UK - April 22nd, 2017
- What is Quantum Computing? Webopedia Definition - March 18th, 2017
- Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Quantum Computers - Interesting Engineering - March 18th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Market Forecast 2017-2022 | Market ... - March 18th, 2017