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"Predicting Andreessen Horowitz’s Next Investment" in Humanizing Tech

A Quantum Computing Simulator That Runs In Your Web Browser

D-Waves “supposed” quantum computer.

I. Quantum Computing Simulator (In Your Browser)

A few days ago, one of the Andreessen Horowitz partners Frank Chen published a primer here on Medium about Quantum Computing. It’s a quick, 27 minute slides-with-sound video about the background and current state of the technology. At the very end he alluded to the next investment that A16Z was going to make, this one in the quantum space.

Craig Gidney is the man behind that subtle proposition. He taught himself quantum mechanics, and blogged about it, over the last few years. Reading through his stuff made my brain fold into a thousand new places. And it still hurts. But he delivers technical complexity in a fun-to-read way that I can’t get enough of.

Because he wanted something interactive to play with that would help him understand how this crazy world that defies logic works, he built himself a tool.

Quirk is what he’s calling this Quantum Computing simulator. It is, in fact, much more user friendly (read: UX) than the one that IBM recently released. IBM. Here’s an animation of what it looks like in action:

Quirk, a quantum computing simulator that runs in your web browser.

Craig had to learn not just Quantum Mechanics (joy!), but also webGL so his simulator could handle more qubits (similar to a regular computer’s bit). He maxed out to about 14 qubits before it starts to bog down, which amounts to about a 100x speed improvement over client-side Javascript.

What I love about the fact this story is that he built this amazing tool, this simulator of quantum space, in his own little corner of the internet because he was interested. And he did it before IBM had released their own version. And then, like magic, one of the most pre-iminent venture capitalists of our generation finds it.

II. Quantum Computing Background

Curious what all this hubalabajub is about? Below is a video from Google that might whet your whistle.

As we move towards a future where AI eats software, while software eats world, we’re going to need more powerful computers (quantum ones) that can do massive matrix (read: linear) algebra at scale. And wouldn’t it be kismet if this was the guy to have built the first simulator that devs could really sink their teeth into that enables apps of the future to run on.

And if I’m being a real pragmatist, I can already imagine Google’s Brain / DeepMind team and Facebook’s AI Research team are both clamoring for their respective founders to open up the corp dev pocketbook to buy this guy’s tech so they have a head start in the race towards Quantum Artificial Intelligence.

III. Quantum Computing Use Cases

So what is the end state of a simulator like this? A tool like this? A computer like this?

With concepts like Quantum Entanglement, I’ve posited many times before that we will use it to communicate across the vastness of space in mirrored-time (my term). Imagine iOS 30, where as you’re typing into iMessage a new emoticon to your friend, she can see it appear at the exact same time that you type it, even though you took that SpaceX rocket to Alpha Centauri and you’re many light years away.

Using the same concept we could “radio control” deep space drones exploring the furthest reaches of space with our VR goggles. It doesn’t happen in real-time. It’s faster. There is no separation between your motion and that motion across the galaxy. It’s an exact mirror, not even slowed by the speed of light.

Mirror-Time: when quantum entangled particles move exactly the same, even across the vastness of our Universe.

Quirk just had it’s June release, so go ahead and give it a whirl in your browser: http://ift.tt/25c9IjA. Who knows. You may just end up being the kid building the quantum Facebook of the future.

Hey A16Z, can I come play too?

— Sean

Predicting Andreessen Horowitz’s Next Investment was originally published in Humanizing Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read the responses to this story on Medium.

from Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/294gGAd