7 min read

Tomorrow is now: shaping the next technology era

Marcin Niczyporuk

Director, Cognitive

It is said that the best way to predict the future is to create it.  We have been fed with a certain futuristic concept for decades and now, “the distant future” has finally caught up with us. Although cars are not flying over our heads yet, technology has long exceeded our expectations and gave us incalculable possibilities.

Every scientific breakthrough consists of small discoveries. From detailed analysis of nerve cells to the study of elementary particles, every advancement provides the foundation for the technology of today. Present-day computing has long gone beyond its scope, drawing on efforts of other sciences, and rightfully so. The technological revolution is still on and hopefully many more discoveries are in the pipeline.

Taming the quantum world

Using quantum-mechanical phenomena in computing has become a tech dream since the 1980’s. Replacing the digital and binary system with quantum qubits trading on such principles as superposition and entanglement is slowly becoming today’s technology. After years of its infancy, quantum computing has become mature enough to go commercial. IBM has just launched the first-ever commercial quantum integrated system housed in an air-tight borosilicate glass cube. For now, the system can be accessed through the IBM cloud and – according to producer’s promises – it offers amazing opportunities for its future clients.

The quantum computer thanks to the qubits-based operations, i.e. particular quantum states, can bypass the classical laws of physics. Its computing power grows exponentially due to the simultaneous use of both zeros and ones. The quantum potential of such a machine makes it capable of computing thousands of times faster than ever before. Although we’re a long way before we’ll be able to completely control the quanta, progress made by engineers in recent years allows us to presume that we are on the verge of solving puzzles regarding the functioning of surrounding matter.

Time of e-brains

Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concert because of thoughts or emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain-that is, not only write it but know that it had written it.

Geoffrey Jefferson

British neurosurgeon, 1949.

Mr. Geoffrey would be very surprised at how far research on the human brain has evolved. Neuromorphic technologies are now one of the hottest topics for the leading integrated circuits producers. Ultrafast networks are now able to learn, create and propose individual exegeses. By virtue of the transmission of signals of contrasting strength, neuro-processors skillfully mimic the work of a human brain. The neurons are made of silicon, but it does not diminish their efficiency. This incredible technology adds breadth and depth to further cerebral studies. Maybe one day this machinery, modeled on the human brain, will itself answer questions about its operation? There is still a lot to explore.

Collective value

Although we are far from full commercialization of high-tech solutions and super sophisticated devices will not take up residence in our homes in the nearest future, we shouldn’t underestimate their significance. Leading-edge solutions are already managing major areas of our lives. We live in a millennium of new discoveries and modern technology has already transported us into the future.

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