December 14, 2018

A helpful reminder that science is scary

Posted on January 18, 2018 by in Op-Ed

Leslie Figueroa,

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

The world in today’s day in age has become an extraordinary scary place. With things such as our president’s daily outrages and movie directors getting exposed, it’s hard not to get caught up in the news of politics and entertainment. Nevertheless, it is important to also delve into the world of technology and medical innovation from time to time to check up on how the world is progressing while one sleeps. This here is your daily dose of technology catch up.

Something in particular that has been shaking the world by storm is the recently unveiled first-ever quantum computer. While classic computers have enabled many amazing things such as the internet it still can go a long way. They use “bits” or in other words 0 and 1s used for data and processing. For example say if I had 4 bits, you could arrange them in the manner of 0000, 0001, 0010..ect. However, when we take a look at Quantum Bits, they are still expressed as 0 and 1s individually but can also be expressed as 0 and 1 combined at the same time. It is a bit confusing but the results and things we could be able to do with this is astonishing. For instance, taking the 4 bits example again, if the bits are expressed as 0 and 1, there are a total of 16 possibilities they can make. Now let’s say these were numbers to a password you wanted to crack. A normal computer would take each and every one of them and try them out. Eventually, it would get the right answer but simply put a Quantum computer would do so much better. Since the 0 and 1s exist at the same time it would input all of the possibilities at the same time as well and thus get it right at the first time.

This in itself does not seem to make much of a difference, but it really does. If one thinks about very high-end security there are an infinite amount of possibilities for a password which would take a regular computer millions of years to be able to crack those codes, but with a quantum computer, it would only take seconds. If we were to dive deeper and touch on the subject of artificial intelligence, we could understand that quantum computers could affect that as well. What if we gave a computer the ability to reprogram itself? A normal computer would not be able to do such a thing because it wouldn’t know the best way to do it; having to run an infinite amount of possibilities in order to find one. A quantum computer could run all of them simultaneously and find it in seconds.

Not going to lie, it is a very scary thing. Seeing as with such an innovation in science we are well on our way to robots taking over the world. We already have a robot by the name of Sophia who has official citizenship in Saudi Arabia, it isn’t too long until they will be able to function completely independent from their creators and be able to reprogram themselves with the help of a quantum computer. Just a little thing to think about to keep your mind off of everything else going on in the world!

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