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We asked on the People for a Smarter Planet Facebook page what IBM’s next grand challenge should be–now that a team at IBM Research accomplished the previous grand-challenge goal of creating a computer that could beat past champions at TV’s Jeopardy! quiz show. More than 750 people responded with ideas and votes. And the winner, with 303 votes, is: “create a working quantum computer.”

This quest would be plenty challenging. Computer Scientists have been developing theories about quantum computing ever since physicist Richard Feynman first proposed the concept of computing based on quantum mechanical phenomena in 1982. Nearly 30 years later, there are no quantum computers.

Another proposition came in a close second, with 277 votes: “fight global warming.” (This one got my vote.)

Other suggestions ranged from the earnest, such as “take healthcare to the next level,” with 18 votes; to the ridiculous, “time travel,” with 97 votes.

We’ll pass along the top suggestions to the folks at IBM Research.

To read what it’s all about, see two previous posts, this one by IBM researcher Dario Gil about the effort to create learning systems, and this one, the live blogging stream from IBM Research’s colloquium, the Frontiers of IT.

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1 Comment
February 28, 2012
11:36 am

What’s so ridiculous about time travel, and the related idea of teleportation?

Posted by: Tim Miller
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July 7, 2014
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February 28, 2012
12:12 am

[...] By the way, the team at IBM Research have plenty of company when it comes to excitement about the potential of quantum computing. A few weeks ago, when the A Smarter Planet blog polled readers to see what they think the next IBM Research grand challenge should be, quantum computing was the top pick. [...]

Posted by: A New Era of Computing: Quantum Computing Shifts From Theory to Practice « A Smarter Planet Blog
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