If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
We've painted ourselves into another corner with artificial intelligence. We're finally starting to breakthrough the usefulness barrier but we're butting up against the limits of our our ability to responsibly meet our machines' massive energy requirements. At the current rate of growth, it appears we'll have to turn Earth into Coruscant if we want to keep spending unfathomable amounts of energy training systems such as GPT-3 . The problem: Simply put, AI takes too much time and energy to train. A layperson might imagine a bunch of code on a laptop screen when they think about AI development, but the truth is that many of the systems we use today were trained on massive GPU networks, supercomputers, or both.
Quantum computers have been quite the rage recently with different tech companies vying for the top spot when it comes to building the most powerful quantum machine. While IBM and Google were in the headlines last year for achieving quantum supremacy, other companies like the Industrial giant Honeywell have been quietly working on its own quantum tech. The company plans to make available its quantum machine to clients via the internet in the next three months. However, Honeywell's approach is a little different than the traditional quantum computers which use superconducting qubits to operate. Honeywell's quantum computer uses a different technology, called ion traps, which hold ions in place with electromagnetic fields.
Barclays and JPMorgan Chase have been experimenting with IBM's quantum computing technology since December, when they joined the tech company's Q network. Salvatore Cucchiara at Morgan Stanley last week articulated the bank's hope of speeding up portfolio optimizations like Monte Carlo simulations with the help of quantum computing. True Positive Technologies, which creates investment strategies for institutional investors with the use of machine learning, has been working with quantum computers since 2014 for portfolio optimization and scenario simulations. Dr. Marcos Lopez de Prado, who founded Guggenheim Partners' Quantitative Investment Strategies business and is now CEO of True Positive, argues that quantum computing will solve financial firms' need for increased computing capacity in the future, while requiring less energy than traditional computers suck up. "Quantum computing will become increasingly important over time," he said.
Intel has passed a key milestone while running alongside Google and IBM in the marathon to build quantum computing systems. The tech giant has unveiled a superconducting quantum test chip with 49 qubits: enough qubits to possibly enable quantum computing that begins to exceed the practical limits of modern classical computers.
A few yards from the stockpile of La Croix in the warehouse space behind startup Rigetti Computing's offices in Fremont, California, sits a machine like a steampunk illustration made real. Its steel chambers are studded with bolts, handles, and circular ports. But this monster is powered by electricity, not coal, and evaporates aluminum, not water--it makes superconducting electronics. Rigetti is using the machine and millions of dollars' worth of other equipment housed here in hermetically sealed glass lab spaces to try and build a new kind of super-powerful computer that runs on quantum physics. It's hardly alone in such an undertaking, though it is the underdog: Rigetti is racing against similar projects at Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel.