NexusOS, an IT company in the UK, has drawn attention to IBM’s powerful new research tool that is completely free to use. The quantum computing project can be used online and is in experimental stages. By providing free access, IBM aims to further develop the program.
IBM has recently announced that everybody will be able to access their quantum computing processor. This is a piece of experimental technology that should, if successful, be able to crunch big data in record time. To access the technology, people simply have to register with IBM Research. Depending on their technology background, they will then be given a certain level of access.
UK based IT company NexusOS is encouraging everyone to sign up for the program, as it will enable it to grow and become more mainstream. Quantum computing is a hugely important field of IT development that will, if implemented properly, increase security across the board. IBM aims for this to be a collaborative effort, which is why signing up could be so important.
Quantum computing remains in its infancy. At present, it is seen solely as an academic project, but it is acknowledged that it could grow into something massive. Organizations from Google to NASA are all currently researching quantum computing, and it is hoped that it will grow quicker through this collaboration. IBM wants to achieve this by making the technology more broadly accessible, so that it becomes part of mainstream computing but also so that talent isn’t missed.
The processor itself is a physical device, and it is found in the Yorktown Heights, NY, IBM research center. The chip is cooled to near absolute zero at all times, which is needed if quantum activity can happen. The machine is online, however, and this is what enables users from all over the world to interact with it directly.
A user friendly website has now been developed, and this enables people to build algorithms or play with existing ones. This looks like a music bar and is aptly named the ‘quantum composer’. These algorithms are real, however, and will manipulate the processor itself.
“Essentially, what IBM is doing is enabling people to see how algorithms are constructed,” says a representative from NexusOS. “Anyone can learn this now, even a 16 year old child, and that is a powerful development. The system enables users to compare their results to those of a standard processor, so that they can see whether the right answer was found. Quantum computing remains experimental, so it is possible for the processor to make a mistake, which will improve its overall learning curve.”
The NexusOS representative was able to have a try of playing with the technology. He found that the answers were correct around 30% of the time. He also felt that the technology was very easy to use and that it was robust. Most importantly, however, he felt that it provided people with an opportunity to play with something real. In so doing, quantum computing becomes more part of the real world and will have more potential to grow. He expects that his 30% results will be greatly improved once more people star to use the system, as the goal is for the machine to learn from its mistakes and from the information that it is provided with.
IBM, meanwhile, hopes that the software and processor will be able to improve rapidly. They will use the feedback they received while the project is running in order to improve its capabilities. As such, it will focus on collaboration and team work, bringing together people from all over the world.