Imagine what will happen when we robots can process information, store data and transmit data at a pace that humans do. Won’t they then be as good as humans? Just to let you know, in this article we are going to touch on an aspect (quantum computing) that takes care of the processing of information, but there are already huge advances to store information like our DNA and transmit the same as it our nervous system does.
As the smartest creatures on earth, our journey from the analog to the digital world has been at a tremendous pace over the last few decades.
There was a time a few decades ago when the invention of the electronic calculator marked a major breakthrough in the world of technology. The transformative advances in information processing have been remarkable ever since. Undoubtedly, we’ve come a long way in smartphones, wearables, and smart devices, shifting from “pressing buttons” to “touching, swiping, and talking.”
As Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and Metaverse are technological realities today, we are also heading towards a new era of data and computation called quantum computing.
Well what is this?
Well, quantum computing is a futuristic technology that uses the power of quantum mechanics to solve extremely complex problems that are beyond the capacity of classical computers. To put it simply, this computational technology works around the principles of quantum theory, where the behavior of matter and energy is studied at the atomic and subatomic levels.
Supercomputers based on quantum theory use comparatively less energy while operating at an exponentially faster speed.
- A few years ago, it took Google’s Sycamore quantum computer less than 4 minutes to calculate what the world’s most powerful computer would take 10,000 years.
- When it comes to speed, Google’s calculator is around 158 million times ahead of the world’s fastest supercomputer.
This quantum computer implements the laws of quantum mechanics for such complex calculations, far beyond human comprehension.
Tech titans envision quantum computing accelerating humans into the future through its impact on data analytics and artificial intelligence. Its tremendous speed and power is said to help us overcome even the complex challenges we humans face.
What if I say in the next few decades robots can become a challenge for humans?
If that will happen, it will be for AI and quantum technology. Scientists have already started researching how to bridge the two paths – quantum physics with its powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence combined with autonomous machines. They are investigating ways to use quantum technology to the advantage of learning robots. The results so far show that robots can make decisions faster.
A team of experimental physicists led by Philip Walther from the University of Vienna collaborated with theorists from the German Aerospace Center, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Innsbruck. Together they succeeded for the first time in demonstrating the increase in the actual learning time of a robot. Their experiment involved using basic light particles, single photons and an integrated photonic quantum processor. Researchers implemented learning tasks using this processor as a robot. The result showed a significant reduction in learning time compared to the cases without quantum physics.
Therefore, artificial intelligence devices built into quantum computers are capable of self-correction and learning through experience, much like humans.
Sounds interesting? Let me make it more interesting for you.
Since the speed of quantum computing is significantly higher than conventional machines, this could lead to quantum robots if fast reactions are recorded. Such robots are said to be highly sophisticated and much more sophisticated, with unprecedented multitasking abilities. Not only that, but they’ll also be able to fully explore and adapt to different survival environments, become more creative independently, and process data faster.
Scientists also believe that the concept of technological singularity will be possible, meaning machines will be more advanced and intelligent than humans.
Coming soon: robots with human intelligence
Yes! You read that right.
There are already plans to build robots that would share similar values and rights as we do. You will have the ability to understand the world as humans do, have the same feelings and the same emotional spectrum. Such human-like technology will fundamentally change our relationship with technology and the world around us.
Do you remember the movie called “Transcendence”? The protagonist loads his consciousness into the quantum computer and outsmarts death! What you might have thought unrealistic then might not be today. Popular predictions state that humans will soon become transhumans through the concept of virtual or digital immortality. We already have quantum computers among us, albeit not a consumer product, but commercially available.
How would this technology accomplish this?
Well, going back to its definition, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits. These tiny physical objects help them tackle highly complex problems and extremely large amounts of data in less than a second. Therefore, storing someone’s memories and personality would be an effortless task for the quantum computers.
Recent breakthroughs show that narrow AI can perform certain tasks much better than humans. It will not be surprising to say that artificial intelligence mimics human ability, that is, to react to various tasks, and with it will challenge our race in the future.
Coming back to digital immortality, it is a theoretical concept of transferring and storing an individual’s consciousness in a robot, virtual body, or computer. The required technology with suitable hardware for this transmission is expected to be available within this decade, although there are still some milestones to be reached.
Digital immortality: how far are we?
Once a person’s consciousness has been uploaded, it can be saved in two different ways:
- By transferring the data to a cloud service:
From there, it can easily interact with the physical as well as the virtual world. The fascinating result would be that the person’s consciousness will remain alive in a virtual space for thousands upon thousands of years. That’s not all. He can also travel to different virtual worlds and download content to extend the experience. Since he’s still alive, he can work with his own digital clones to complete important real-life tasks faster.
- By having entirely new bodies:
A fairly distant future, the second instance says, is that humans will possibly grow or build entirely new bodies. While models can vary depending on the type of technology used, the cheapest model could look machine-like or robotic.
If we fast forward many decades today, we could have these machines as very expensive synthetic bodies that resemble real human bodies, using several high-tech features to enhance their mental and physical abilities. Going forward thousands of years, the world could have synthetic bodies so advanced that their capabilities would probably exceed our wildest imagination today. If necessary, new versions of these bodies may also appear.
According to the predictions of the renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil, the human mind could be uploaded within the next quarter century, although it could take a long time to perfect.
In a major research breakthrough a year ago, one of the most complex organs, the eyes of mice, was reprogrammed in a lab. When a person becomes blind in old age, they never regain their sight. Therefore, the experiment of gene therapy was conducted on one-year-old mice whose retinas were made young again. Three of the four reprogramming factors have been implemented. Scientists have successfully reversed the aging of their retinas by dating them back to around two months old. The mice could see everything clearly again, just as they had seen when they were young. In addition, the system can be switched on and off as required. Scientists confirmed that this can be done on any tissue to reverse aging, but not going back too far.
Probably, in about a century, due to the dynamic development of technology, the concept of death will disappear. Humans will simply move from one body to another with their memory and consciousness stored in the form of data.
In other words, it’s just the beginning for us to understand the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Each new and successful experiment thus contributes to the development of the field of application of quantum computing. IBM believes that quantum computing will likely become mainstream technology within the next 5 years. At this point, can we look back at our mythology and summarize that our culture has been talking about it for eons?
Food for thought:
Simply put, “history” for which we have no documented evidence is called “mythology.” Do you think that in 100 years we will have to document or even speak? We’ve already moved from paper documents to speaking into a microphone and recording the artifacts. Why isn’t it possible to simply transmit thoughts from one person (robot) to another without speech or text?