Cutting Through the Hype Around Quantum Computers and the Quantum Threat
Rebecca Krauthamer / Newsweek / 10 November 2022
Newsweek provides the latest news, in-depth analysis and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture and politics. Featured in the Experts section of Newsweek, our Chief Product Officer Rebecca Krauthamer poses the question, “If quantum computers are at least a few years out, can leaders ignore the hype for now?”
There may be no technology more overhyped and underestimated today than quantum computing. While getting to commercially relevant quantum computing will be challenging, today even the most conservative experts are no longer debating if it will happen, but rather when these large-scale quantum computers will be realized. Sundar Pinchai, the CEO of Google, estimated in 2019 that we will have a Cryptographically Relevant Quantum Computer (CRQC — a quantum computer with enough power to break our current cryptography) in five to ten years. Not knowing when, though, means it could also happen sooner than we think.
We do know this: Commercial, scientific and military powers have dedicated billions of dollars to make large quantum computers a reality as they enable massive speedups for optimization problems across many industries — from finance and logistics tonew drug discovery and machine learning. However, as quantum computers get closer to becoming reality, there is a need to educate CISOs and others on what quantum computing is, what the quantum threat looks like and how they can prepare their organizations. Even if a CRQC is still years away, the time to start preparing is now.