NASA’s CIO Convinced Quantum Computers Will Be Key to Unlocking Treasure Trove of Data Generated by NASA
(Forbes) NASA’s CIO, Jeffrey Seaton, is convinced quantum computers will be key to unlocking many more hugely valuable insights from that information treasure trove generated by NASA.
Since taking over the top tech job and the $2 billion-plus annual budget that comes with it in May 2020, Seaton’s been on a personal mission to improve the software and hardware available to NASA’s 65,000 full-time government employees and contractors. Giving its researchers access to more computing power is one of his top priorities, which explains why the agency is experimenting with quantum technology. Freeing up more internal data to apply that processing power to is another.
“Historically, we’ve had silos of data,” said Seaton. “Silos of excellence [too], but it was disconnected data.” He and his team have been broadening researchers’ access to raw data while ensuring that security is respected so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. They are also giving researchers better machine learning and other kinds of algorithms to apply to it.
Seaton’s optimistic the strategy will reap big dividends. “Maybe data from [our] engineering group could be connected with data from the safety and mission assurance group, and together [they] could create opportunities not seen before.”