Today is Halloween and I am terrified. Last week, Google announced they achieved “quantum supremacy”. Google claims their quantum computer can solve the same equation in 200 seconds where today’s world’s fastest supercomputer would take over 10,000 years.
This sounds like something only “neck-beards” would be excited for, but honestly — this is an achievement like landing on the Moon. Check out this excellent documentary explaining quantum computing:
Why is it scary that Google has this?
Google is a marketing company, not a “tech company”. They make all of their money by understanding what you are looking for and displaying targeted advertisements to you.
Their goal is to collect as much information about you as possible so they can predict what you need next. When you use their “free” tools or heavily discounted Google Home devices, all of that data is stored, analyzed, and used to target advertisements towards you.
That’s why things are so cheap or free. They take a one-time loss on the first sale of the product so they can harvest and profit from your data every day after that.
Enter a world where a marketing company has a quantum computer
Quantum computing combined with the power of Artificial Intelligence (aka. “AI”) unleashes a whole new generation of power. Our brains will start to become replaced by these “free” tools that Google will create. Google has already demonstrated its advanced AI using today’s computing power:
Throw this AI onto a quantum computer and the impossible now becomes real. Google will no longer be a search engine. Google will become a personality that you can rely on to help you create anything that you need help with. If that is something as simple as booking an appointment for you, all the way to helping you write your next paper, paint a picture or write a song.
The position Google will be in is the point of complete influence and control how you make decisions. The scariest part is this position will be “free” to the user (in monetary standards), but all completely funded by advertisements.
Because we are a species that likes shortcuts and finding comfort in watching Netflix all day, our society will gobble this up like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. We will heavily rely on Google’s AI and our decision making will be outsourced to corporations who have a lot of stockholders to please. The answers we receive will be biased and we will lose our full capacity to make decisions on our own.
Is it just Google to be afraid of?
Okay, let’s take off our tinfoil hats for a second. Google is not the enemy here. The enemy is our society’s complete laziness to hand over decision making to AI because it is “easy”.
Google is just creating something that our society wants. The reality is we have another technology gap: those who have a quantum computer and those who don’t. Any person or company with access to quantum computing will be superior.
The scary part is that we’re not just talking about monopolies of railroads or access to high-speed Internet anymore… we’re talking about monopolies that will control knowledge and decisions.
It’s terrifying to think of what that looks like. If it wasn’t Google being the first in this position, it would be Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, or some corrupt government. Google may be one of our better options, but their recent moves have been questionable.
At the end of the day, the human achievement of building a quantum computer is amazing. Diseases will be cured through projects like Folding@home, we’ll understand space exploration, and we may finally have a chance to understand “mental health”.
This is a huge advancement, but time will only tell at what level of responsibility this technology is used with.
What are your thoughts?
This obviously won’t be a big issue if people are able to develop an awareness of AI and their actual dependence on it. Do you think our society is capable or aware enough to catch themselves?
I’m interested to hear your perspective on this. Let me know your thoughts by hitting me up on the Twitter thread below or shoot me an email if you are on my mailing list.