Google Launches Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab
Quantum computing promises to dramatically accelerate important computational tasks in ways not seen before in traditional computers or supercomputers. Traditional computers use binary arithmetic for their logic, while quantum computers replace binary arithmetic with the laws of quantum physics. Quantum law applies to all physical systems at the atomic scale. Because a quantum computer can require fewer steps to achieve a result compared with a conventional computer, it can achieve much faster performance than a conventional computer. A Google spokesperson declined to comment further about the lab when contacted by eWEEK.Google has actually been involved in other quantum computing initiatives in the past, including previous collaborations with D-Wave and NASA. The search giant is involved in many research fields in computing. In February, it announced its first-ever Google App Engine Research Awards to seven projects that will use the App Engine platform's abilities to work with large data sets for academic and scientific research. The new program, which was announced in the spring of 2012, brought in many proposals for a wide variety of scientific research, including in subject areas such as mathematics, computer vision, bioinformatics, climate and computer science. Google created the fledgling App Engine Research Awards program to bolster its support of academic research, while providing academic researchers with access to Google's infrastructure so they can explore innovative ideas in their fields, according to Google. The App Engine platform is particularly suited to managing heavy data loads and running large-scale applications. Google is active in providing resources for research and educational projects in many areas. Also in February, the company announced its ninth annual Google Summer of Code contest, which invites college students to learn about the world of open-source code development. The program has involved some 6,000 college and university students from more than 100 countries since its start in 2005.