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Monday, September 24, 2012

Quantum Computing and eHealth

If you want a glimpse of the future, subscribing to IEET is probably the best way to go, though I think many writers tend to be overly optimistic.  This article on Quantum Computing and the future of health in 20 years might be one such, but who knows. I didn't know that a Canadian company D-Wave, developed the first QC machine.  Their website has an interesting article on how QC programming is different from regular programming, which reminds me a little about Bell's theorum.


Quantum Computers: Headband Telepathy, Medical Advances, and more!


Dick Pelletier
Dick Pelletier
Positive Futurist

Posted: Sep 22, 2012
Quick: without grabbing your cell phone, tablet or PC, when did Earth population reach 7 billion? In the near future, the answer might be immediately whispered into your ear, “October 31, 2011.”
Any query you can think of will soon be answered with a headband that gathers data from the Internet and feeds it directly into your brain, say Peter Schwartz and Rita Koselka in this Fortune Magazine article
Stuart Wolf, Nanostar director at University of Virginia predicts an even more Earth-shaking change. Within 20 years, he says, instead of cell phone conversations, we will have “network-enabled telepathy;” communicating directly to another person’s headband, using just our thoughts.   
Recognizing thoughts instead of ‘voice-speak’ may be confusing at first, experts say, but with training, “thought-talking” could one day become the preferred way for humans to communicate with each other.   
How do quantum computers think? This 5 minute video explains. The world’s first QC, D-Wave One, was made and sold by D-Wave Systems to Lockheed Martin, to solve security issues. The 7-minute video below offers more details on this groundbreaking project:
  
QCs will accelerate advances in medical technologies. In a paper published recently in Nature Scientific Reports, Harvard researcher Alan Aspuru-Guzik presented results of the largest protein folding problem solved to date using a quantum computer. QCs will accelerate advances in many areas of life sciences, including drug and vaccine design, Aspuru-Guzik says.   
The following scenario imagines what life could be like in tomorrow’s quantum computer future:   
“It’s the year 2030, and as I glance around my bedroom, I feel secure knowing that microscopic sensors embedded throughout the house constantly monitor my breathing, heart rate, brain activity and other vital health issues. For example, blood extracted last night by the bathroom sink checked for free-radicals and precancerous cells, and then ordered all the necessary preventative drugs from the home nano-replicator. 

  
As I step into the shower, wall tiles display the day’s top headlines: ‘Mars mission launches ahead of schedule;’ ‘Military drones destroy another terrorist training camp using ‘smart dust;’ and ‘today is the 20th anniversary of the first quantum computer.’
Glancing in the mirror, I find it hard to believe that I will celebrate my 100th birthday later this year. Having recently opted for total body rejuvenation, my reflection displays the image of a healthy twenty-something, with wrinkle-free skin, perfect sight, original hair color, strong muscles and bones; and an enhanced brain that, although it took some getting used to, has greatly increased my intelligence.
Getting ready to fly to a conference, my auto-drive electric car rolls its top down on this warm day. I manually drive to the electronic roadway on-ramp, and then relinquish the wheel to the vehicle. Arriving at the airport, my ‘smart’ car drops me off at the terminal, and then returns home. An ‘intelligent cam’ scans my mind and gives an instant approval, no waiting for ticket-check or security.
While boarding the plane, I see a familiar face. My headband immediately flashes his identity data and displays it on my eyes. Dr. Jones, I call out. It’s so nice to see you again. How was the conference? Only a slight flicker of Jones’ eyes betrays that he is Googling my details too. Hi Dick; the conference was great; and congratulations on your Estonia presentation.”
Welcome to the future! Headbands, because they can access all of the information on the Internet, enables us to think of any issue; then immediately receive data pertinent to that issue in our eyes or ears.
In another application for the technology, the necessity to learn languages would disappear. This would allow more friendships to develop; and if the devices were cheap enough, which experts claim will be a certainty with nano-replicators expected in this future time, headbands would be affordable for everyone.
These techno-wonders hold great promise to improve relationships. No more forgetting names and details, plus increased intimacy generated by thought-talking could bring people around the world closer together, creating a Global Village; a society acting as one voice to advance peace. Comments welcome.

Dick Pelletier is a weekly columnist who writes about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He's also appeared on various TV shows, and he blogs at Positive Futurist.