Quantum Computing Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty

Quantum Computing Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty

WIRED has challenged IBM’s Dr. Talia Gershon (Senior Manager, Quantum Research) to explain quantum computing to 5 different people: a child, teen, a college student, a grad student and a professional.

Wired, 2018

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It’s not easy to cut through the buzz on quantum computing and get to the heart of what’s happening and what it means. Will everyone have quantum computers in their pockets in 10 years’ time? Are all secure communications now an open book? Is it just traditional computing at warp speed? At Wired’s invitation, Dr. Talia Gershon from IBM discusses all this and more, finding something interesting to say about it for every age group. A truly enjoyable and interesting short summation of where people are and what they still need to do, before quantum computing is part of everyone’s daily life.


Quantum computing differs from traditional computing in that the value of a bit is not limited to a 0 or 1 but can also be a mixture of 0 and 1.

Traditional computers store information in binary format, that is as a 0 or 1, whereas quantum computers also allow superposition, where information is a mixture of 0 and 1.

This difference allows problems to be tackled in an entirely new and different way.

This mixture allows for solving problems where traditional computers would simply run out of memory.

With superposition, programing the quantum computer is entirely different from a traditional computer. In fact, many problems that require vast amounts of memory in a traditional computer can be encoded...

About the Speaker

Dr. Talia Gershon specializes in artificial intelligence and quantum computing at IBM.

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