(SpectrumIEEE) Another essay in the recent IEEE Spectrum series concerning ‘when’ quantum computing will have commercial value. The author explains that people working in quantum technology are . ..”thrilled by recent progress they’ve made on proof-of-concept devices and by the promise of this research”. They no doubt consider the technical hurdles to be much more tractable than theoretical physicist Mikhail Dyakonov, who recently argued that practical general-purpose quantum computers will not be built anytime in the foreseeable future.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine had been grappling with the very same ‘when’ question.
The committee was to provide “an independent assessment of the feasibility and implications of creating a functional quantum computer capable of addressing real-world problems….” It was to estimate “the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability of success.” The committee was not prepared to commit itself to any estimate. Authors of a commentary in the January issue of the Proceedings of IEEE devoted to quantum computing were similarly reticent to make concrete predictions. So the answer is: Nobody really knows.

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