(TechCrunch) IBM’s Dario Gil recently spoke with Frederic Lardinois at Tech Crunch about the company’s deliberate choice in announcing the quantum roadmap road map and he likened it to the birth of the semiconductor industry. This is a complex and lengthy article and summarized here.  The complete interview is well worth the time to read.
“If you look at the difference of what it takes to build an industry as opposed to doing a project or doing scientific experiments and moving a field forward, we have had a philosophy that what we needed to do is to build a team that did three things well, in terms of cultures that have to come together. And that was a culture of science, a culture of the road map, and a culture of agile,” Gil said.
Gil explained IBM could’ve taken two different paths. The first would be more like the Apollo program, where everybody comes together, works on a problem for a decade and then all the different pieces come together for this one breakthrough moment.
“A different philosophy is to say, ‘what can you do today’ and put the capability out,” he said. “And then have user-driven feedback, which is a culture of agile, as a mechanism to continue to deliver to a community and build a community that way, and you got to lay out a road map of progress. We are firm believers in this latter model. And that in parallel, you got to do the science, the road map and the feedback and putting things out.”
Gil also argues that the industry has gotten to the point where the degree of complexity has increased so much that individual players can’t do everything themselves anymore. In turn, that means various players in the ecosystem can now focus on specializing and figuring out what they are best at.
Gil believes that 2023 will be an inflection point in the industry, with the road to the 1,121-qubit machine driving improvements across the stack. The most important — and ambitious — of these performance improvements that IBM is trying to execute on is bringing down the error rate from about 1% today to something closer to 0.0001%.

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