Quantum Computing and Moore’s Law

Expert opinion says Moore’s Law will end. We think quantum computing will come sooner than they think. A reason why we remain bullish about it is that there’s a breakthrough just about every day. A recent one was the creation of a way to store and retrieve video made up of photons (quanta) in a cloud of rubidium atoms.

We’re not the only optimists. IBM is too, and could well be first out of the gate with a practical device.

Even if we don’t soon get practical computers at the subatomic (quantum) level, in five to ten years we will have single-atom transistors that will keep Moore’s law going.

In the meantime, Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chip is keeping Moore’s pedal to the metal.

Computing & Healthcare  

The acceleration of computing power inevitably means acceleration in computer functionality, including functionality related to healthcare.

For example: Advances in speech recognition, made possible by faster computers, are bringing near-perfect instantaneous transcription of doctors’ notes.

For another example, IBM’s virtual doctor, an artificial intelligence called Watson, will soon be available for purchase–though you’ll have to buy IBM’s advanced analytics software to go with it. (But you should be using advanced analytics anyway.)

Artificial Intelligence        

Watson will likely be expensive and is being targeted at healthcare providers. It could soon have some serious competition from Siri, Apple’s free personal AI assistant on the iPhone, as well as from Siri’s challengers.

A key part of Siri’s appeal is that its responses seem natural, human. When something like Siri is built into humanoid robots, then the physically, intellectually, and emotionally realistic humanoid robot depicted in this clip from the forthcoming movie Prometheus hardly seems like science fiction at all.

Intelligent, emotional machines will work better with us by reading our mental state and slowing down when we start failing to keep up. But why would machines that advanced need us at all?

Intelligent, autonomous systems will eventually reach critical mass, in healthcare too. What then for jobs?


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