Google and the XPRIZE Foundation have joined forces to introduce a groundbreaking $5 million competition aimed at identifying practical applications for quantum computers that could yield tangible benefits for society. While quantum computers have demonstrated their capability to outperform classical computers in specific tasks, including Google’s milestone achievement of quantum advantage with its Sycamore processor in 2019, these accomplishments have been limited to simple benchmarks devoid of real-world implications.

Ryan Babbush, a representative from Google, underscores the need to bridge the gap between abstract quantum speed-ups and practical applications. He emphasizes that while quantum computers exhibit significant speed enhancements for certain mathematical problems, there has been less emphasis on aligning these advancements with specific real-world challenges and exploring the potential utility of quantum computing.

In response to this imperative, Google and the XPRIZE Foundation are calling upon researchers worldwide to develop novel quantum algorithms as part of a comprehensive three-year competition. The primary objective is to devise algorithms that address existing societal challenges, such as discovering revolutionary battery electrolytes to enhance storage capacity. Importantly, the competition does not mandate solving these problems practically; rather, participants are tasked with demonstrating how their algorithms could be effectively applied. This entails outlining the precise specifications required for quantum computing implementation.

Alternatively, contestants have the opportunity to showcase the applicability of existing quantum algorithms to previously unexplored real-world problems. By encouraging innovative approaches and fostering collaboration within the quantum computing community, the competition aims to unlock the transformative potential of quantum technologies and accelerate their integration into practical solutions for pressing global issues.

By Impact Lab