Remember the good ole’ days when in order to access the internet, when we had to wait several minutes using dial-up, and then continued to block the rest of our home from using the telephone? Downloading and streaming anything was nearly impossible; this was coined “web 1.0.” After the internet advanced, “web 2.0” manifested to make the internet a place where individuals around the world can contribute with a quasi-infinite amount of information and content. Thus, communities that were never before heard began to thrive on a mass-scale. Being that our world today relies on “web 2.0” for the most part, the next generation the internet, or “web 3.0,” has now arrived with a powerful presence; this is where the decentralization of information gives power and privacy back to the user.
Upon the horizons of our world’s mass-paradigm shift into “web 3.0,” we are seeing three, main technologies flood the headlines; Blockchain, Artificial intelligence, and Quantum Computing. Now, the majority of whom are reading this article most likely have some comprehension of Blockchain and AI; however, the understanding revolving around Quantum Computing seems to be less popular than the aforementioned technologies.
In order to understand Quantum Computing, one must comprehend the essence of Quantum Mechanics, a branch of quantum physics that studies how our physical Universe operates on the most, quintessential level. At the foundational level of our Universe, reality as we know it acts on a different spectrum. Everything as we perceive it to be, is energetic and vibrational; thus, on a subatomic level, our Universe is comprised of finite particles vibrating at very high frequencies in efforts to compose matter. Due to the four, controversially five, elements having different consistencies, we are truly perceiving matter on various, vibrational frequencies. Per a very important example, from the Double Slit Experiment, the manifestation of matter is surely affected by the attention and energy of the observer.
“since the quantum world can not be observed directly, we are forced to use instruments as extensions of our senses
however, quantum entities are so small that even contact with one photon changes their position and momentum = measurement problem
1st hint that the observer is an important piece of any quantum experiment, can not isolate the observer or their effects” — University of Oregon
Through the inner workings of Quantum Mechanics, we perceive there to be other, major components such as “superposition” and “entanglement.”
Superposition, to complement the research of the Double Slit Experiment, may be defined as a quantum state that has the possibility of existing in multiple (possibly an infinite number) of states at a single point of observation or measurement. Now, this brings about the human functions of imagination, dreaming, and creation… At a single moment in time/space, anything can possibly occur; and with the power of perception and intent, we have the capacity to steer time/space into the direct of our conscious, and subconscious choosing.
While, entanglement may be defined when two or more particles in a quantum state, irrespective of the distance in between the pair or group of particles in time/space, have the capacity to proportionately communicate with each other in an instantaneous fashion; thus, the communication being faster than the speed of light. On top of which, the pair, or group, of particles in which communicate with each other in the aforementioned fashion, act in the previously stated way from the catalyst of measuring only one of the particles in the pair, or group. As the one particle is observed, the other(s) in the entangled relationship instantly “know,” and respond accordingly.
The quantum realm is truly an infinite ether of possibility; while superposition and entanglement, along with many other theories and concepts, barely scratch the surface of how the quantum realm, thus universe, truly operates. Now, let us now touch upon the question of how Quantum Mechanics ties into the technology of our future, Quantum Computing.
“Classic Computers,” as they are now being phrased, work within a system of which processes data through binary form, or bits; the infamous patterns of 0s and 1s. With Quantum Computing, data and information is now possible to be processed in something phrased, “qubits,” or quantum bits. Unlike bits, of which are able to only be processed as a 0 or 1, qubits are able to be processed in superposition as 0 and 1, at the same time. Upon this superposition of a qubit, aforementioned, when there is a measurement placed upon this structure of information, the qubit will change forms. Under the proviso of entanglement, when multiple qubits are attempted to be measured, or observed, the other qubits in the pair, or group, will change as well. Under only these two concepts of Quantum Mechanics, the quantum computing systems have the capacity of quasi-infinite, exponential increase, in a quasi-instantaneous fashion.
Even though we are discussing the basics of basics in this article in regards to what Quantum Computing is, and how it exactly operates, let us now explore the mind boggling possibilities of how “quantum-backed” Artificial Intelligence will immensely proliferate operations and functions of Blockchain.
Currently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is involved with many integral aspects of modern day society; whether it deals with the next song or video we are going to play, or the next credit card purchase we make of which monitored by your bank’s fraud system, AI will be present within our lives, for generations to come.
With the latest AI advancements, we are experiencing things such as the mimicry of human imagination; to disregard the dystopian fear of AI taking over our collective consciousness, we are well on our way to seeing AI embody more and more human-like functionalities such as speech, thought, empathy, and more. Due to the fact that the human brain is so very complex, to the point where mainstream science barely comprehends its’ true functionalities, AI will have to be intertwined with very advanced, “Sci-Fi” like computing technology; this is where we are now perceiving quantum computing to come into place.
Current supercomputers have been proven to outsmart humans on a logical, “left-brain” level, however, these supercomputers lack “right-brain” functionality such as sensory input, emotion, empathy, intuition, and other “pseudo-scientific” abilities we may have. Current efforts on this level of AI interpretation are manifesting through the creation of different sensory and IoT devices aimed to better understand the external/internal input/output of human life and the world we live in, however, Quantum Computing, and its’ infinitely exponential, processing power is on the horizon of allowing AI to tap into the inner depths of the human being.
As an example, with IBM’s 7 Qubit Device:
“The scientists successfully used six qubits on a purpose-built seven-qubit quantum processor to address the molecular structure problem for beryllium hydride (BeH2) — the largest molecule simulated on a quantum computer to date.” — IBM News Room
Imagine when the computing process of these quantum machines reaches no limitation; it will be possible to simulate full-spectrum, brain processes of which will allow AI to simulate left and right brain functionalities in efforts to mimic consciousness and self-awareness.
For the sake of not going on a tangent about cultivating AI-driven robots that will walk among people with little distinction, let us bridge together how the advances of Quantum Computing and Artificial intelligence will impact one the key technologies in our “web 3.0” transition, Blockchain.
To briefly introduce, Blockchain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) network operated by of nodes (hardware systems), or network participants, of which collectively use cryptography to create a public proof of work, that is essentially undisputable, while new transactions and records are time stamped in chronological order, and then, to reiterate, sent across the network of nodes for authenticity verification. The majority of our world’s system and functions, are now positioned upon a centralized systems in which the server/system owners have jurisdiction over the mass majority. With Blockchain, we are seeing that the power of privacy and decentralized order are now being put back into the hands of the mass majority; as this is unfolding new avenues technological advancement, in a communal, P2P manner.
One of most exciting advances from Blockchain technology is cryptocurrency; a digital, decentralized form of currency that manifest as a store of value, medium of exchange, and/or a measurement of account. As most of us know, Bitcoin, the world’s first, decentralized cryptocurrency, illuminated the metaphorical spotlight on Blockchain.
Besides being the foundational system in which supports the functions and existence of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain is being used for a multitude of“in-between” efforts such as:
- Allowing individuals to take ownership of their own personal data through decentralized applications (Dapps) and IoT devices.
- Having more privacy in surfing the internet by using decentralized browsers.
- Adding more speed and security to large transaction such as purchasing Real Estate.
- Enhancing and adding more security into the voting process.
And much more…
Blockchain now has attention, interest, and implementation from governmental parties/organizations, banks, large tech companies, manufacturers, energy companies, and many more leaders from across the whole gamut of industry. This is surely a byproduct of the indicative nature of Blockchain being one of the vanguards into our collective, technological transition. Being that the majority of “web 2.0” systems have AI intertwined within them, we are seeing AI help advance Blockchain, and vice versa.
In the aforementioned advances of AI, we are seeing it have the capacity to better lead technological systems, and influence people in a more impactful way. Conjoining the P2P aspect of Blockchain based system, and the deep-learning of AI, this bears more hope for technology to become more intimate with humans in a beneficial manner. As Blockchain grows symbiotically with AI, we will see more intelligent visualizations of decentralized information and data on the many levels of infrastructure. Thus, the operations of the Blockchain will autonomously (depending on the AI algorithms in place) become more and more efficient and precise over-time. For example, more precise and efficient delivery in adjusting the real-time premium for auto-insurance customers through more intelligent analyzing, organizing, and visualizing of the big-data tracked through the customers’ IoT Devices and Dapps.
With AI already growing with, and being a part of, Blockchain-based solutions, Quantum Computing will allow Blockchain-based, AI guided systems to an reach unimaginable level of application. At the foundational, Blockchain level, the transaction verification process in and of itself, may have the capacity to the interlaced with the principle of entanglement. Thus, imagine hundreds of thousands to millions of transactions per second (TPS) to be instantly verified within the network, in real-time, with no latency?
Another aspect remains in the possibility of AI protocols, given that they are metaphorically intimate with each individual user on a unhackable, private level, to learn highly detailed information about the user, along with his/her subconscious activities, to give better assistance with factors such as emotional states, states of health, projection of finances, lifestyle suggestions, driving safety, and a plethora of more feedback.
At the same time Quantum Computing may be an integral ally to Blockchain based technologies, could it also be Blockchain’s worse enemy? Due to the fact that the cryptography behind a Blockchain system is essentially an advanced, mathematical equation of some sorts, a Quantum Computer in which processes data in qubits, thus abides by superposition, will be able to solve modern cryptography in an effortless fashion from its’ ability to compute a quasi-infinite number of possibilities in a relatively finite amount of time. However, vice versa, Blockchain systems of which are supported by Quantum Computers, will be able to cultivate an even deeper level of unfathomable security. In this case, is it safe to state; “may the most intelligent quantum computer win?”
To facetiously comment upon this, imagine a reality such as the one depicted in the Hollywood Blockbuster, I, Robot starring Will Smith…? The vision of grandeur where there is a decentralized (P2P) network of AI-guided, public-service robots, and personal robots of which study their owner, perhaps know things about them that the human may not even realize about his/her self, while making life “much better in all aspects.”
Though we do have a fair amount of time before this reality may be possible, it is quite too eerie to get excited about.