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Automating Invention is Robert Plotkin's blog on the impact of computer-automated inventing on the future of invention and patent law.

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January 4, 2006

Quantum Computing Comes One Step Closer

ACD points out that the IQOQI (Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information) in Austria has produced the first "quantum byte," consisting of 8 Calcium ions. This development brings the "quantum computer" closer to becoming a reality.

According to the current Wikipedia entry for "quantum computer," "It is widely believed that if large-scale quantum computers can be built, they will be able to solve certain problems faster than any classical computer." The implications for artificial invention are clear. Most of the software that is being used for artificial inventing relies on powerful computers and, perhaps more importantly, provides better results when run on even more powerful computers. As a result, people in the field are always seeking more powerful computers at lower cost. Why design better software when you can improve your results just by running the same software on a more powerful computer?

John Koza began using a 1,000-Pentium computer back in 1999 to run genetic algorithms for (among other things) inventing new hardware and software (see photo). Although today's computers can provide the same performance for about 1/10th of the price of Koza's 1999 system, he was able to achieve impressive results using the technology that was available at the time. Fully quantum computers, if they were to become possible, could take this forward by (pun fully intended) a quantum leap.

Posted by Robert at January 4, 2006 6:57 PM
category: Artificial Invention

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