CdT interviews Stefan Wolf on the quantum era announced by Google


Institutional Communication Service

20 December 2019

Google ha recently announced to have achieved “quantum supremacy”. The newspaper Corriere del Ticino talked to USI professor Stefan Wolf and his colleagues Arne Hansen and Xavier Coiteux-Roy about the significance of this statement.

“We’ve entered the quantum era, Google said so” is the title of the article published by Corriere del Ticino on 17 December 2019 written by Giona Carcano. The journalist began the interview by asking the Professor of the Faculty of Informatics Stefan Wolf and his colleagues the meaning of the so-called supremacy: in short, computers that use the principles of quantum physics can, theoretically, solve specific problems much faster than a normal computer and Google claims to own one of such computers.

Wolf stresses, however, that talking about supremacy is still premature. To achieve actual dominance it would be necessary for Google's quantum computer to replicate positive results for all operations, even those that are less complex, that classical computers currently solve with great potential for improvement.

In the interview it is mentioned that cryptography is the area with the greatest potential for development in quantum computing, which would make communications or transactions more private and secure. Throughout the ages, as Wolf pointed out, we have faced "technological battles" and now we are witnessing a real symbolic race for leadership in this field. We must, however, ask ourselves about the applications of this technology in society. Wolf points out the example of China, which is working to adopt a quantum technology telecommunications network, creating a "state of surveillance", in comparison with Europe which, instead, has created laws for the protection of citizens' data: two different ways of interpreting and exploiting technology.


Read the full interview by Giona Carcano in the attachment (in Italian)