(Blogs.ScientificAmerican) Quantum computing may enable us to crunch through SETI data as the amount of data grows bigger and bigger in scope.
It may be that the enormity of the SETI challenge isn’t just in the scale of the datasets (and acquiring those in the first place) but is also in the open-endedness of the questions. Once we allow for the fact that we may not know how signals are encoded (whether in radio or optical light, or otherwise) the game quickly becomes very, very expensive.
Quantum computing does hold enormous promise for some of the tasks that current deep-learning systems rely on (for instance, very large matrix manipulations). It’s possible that we’ll eventually manage to utilize quantum computing to help train our machines, and then unleash them on huge SETI datasets. Looking for signals in ways that we can’t even imagine.