News about record-setting systems dominated quantum computing's news cycle for a long time. There have been disagreements between researchers at IBM and Google over who achieved what. The time has passed for firms to argue over who has the biggest processor. Everyone is acting like grown ups.
IBM is expected to announce a processor in three years that will put more quantum bits into play. The processing units of quantum computers can be made from a variety of technologies.
IBM has been trying to increase the number of qubits it can pack on a chip for a long time. IBM released a record-breaking 127 of them. The company plans to release a 1,121-qubit processor called "Condor" in three years.
The Heron processor is expected to have just 133 qubits. The company is keen to point out that the qubits will be of the highest quality. The shift from single quantum computing chips to modular quantum computers is expected to help quantum computers scale up significantly.
The quantum computing industry is shifting. Thanks to recent breakthrough, aggressive road mapping, and high levels of funding, we may see general-purpose quantum computers earlier than previously thought. The Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo is progressing quickly.
There are a few areas where experts think progress will be made.
The world of modular quantum computing is just the beginning. As the information moves from processor to processor, the chips will not be able to maintain the purity of the information. The hope is that such chips, linked together with quantum-friendly fiber-optic or microwave connections, will open the way for large-scale quantum computers with a million connected qubits. That could be how many are needed. The director of IBM's quantum hardware system development says that modularity is important.
Solid-state batteries can use a wide range of chemistries. The company raised hundreds of millions of dollars before going public and is focused on that technology. The company has a deal with Volkswagen.
Li-metal batteries have seen manufacturing challenges as well as concerns about degradation. In December, Quantumscape said it had delivered samples to automotive partners for testing, a significant milestone on the road to getting solid-state batteries into cars. Solid Power is building and testing their batteries. Their batteries won't make it into vehicles on the road in three years.
There are other new technologies to watch out for. Today's lithium-ion chemistries are very different from the ones used in the past. The design of these batteries is similar to that of lithium-ion batteries, but instead of relying on lithium, they usesodium as the main chemical ingredient. According to a report, Chinese battery giant CATL plans to start mass-production of them in the year 2023.
Even though sodium-ion batteries don't improve performance, they can cut costs because they use cheaper materials. It's not clear whether these batteries will be able to meet needs for EV range and charging time, which is why companies like US-based Natron are targeting less demanding applications.
The market for batteries for stationary grid storage is small compared to the EV battery market. Since major renewable power sources like wind and solar are variable, and batteries can help store energy for when it's needed, demand for electricity storage is increasing.
Even though they are used for it today, lithium-ion batteries aren't ideal for stationary storage. The primary goal for stationary storage is to cut costs, while batteries for EV are getting smaller, lighter, and faster. Different chemistries will likely win out because size and weight don't really matter for grid storage.
Two players could see progress in the coming year because iron is a rising star. The iron-air battery developed by Form Energy uses a water-based electrolyte to store energy. A $760 million manufacturing facility is planned to be built in West Virginia. A different type of iron battery is being built by another company, and it has begun manufacturing in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Researchers are tweaking the technology to get more performance out of the batteries.
The Federal Trade Commission watches how companies collect and use data. Weight Watchers was forced to destroy its data by the FTC because it collected data on children without permission. In December, the company agreed to a $520 million settlement, avoiding a similar fate. The chair of the agency has said that they intend to protect Americans from data security practices that are not in line with the law.
Authorities in China have recently banned the creation of deepfakes. Europeans want to add warning signs to let people know that they are interacting with artificial intelligence.
Technology companies could be affected by these regulations. Tech lobbyists are not afraid of reminding them that regulators have to strike a delicate balance between protecting consumers and not disrupting innovation.
The challenge will be to keep the rules precise enough to be effective, but not so specific that they become obsolete as the field of artificial intelligence develops rapidly. If new laws are implemented correctly, the next year could see an era of artificial intelligence with more respect for privacy and fairness.
The person isMelissa Heikkil.
Their muscles are flexed.
An open-source revolution has begun to match, and sometimes surpass, what the richest labs are doing in the field of artificial intelligence.
BLOOM was the first community-built, multilingual large language model. Stable Diffusion, an open-sourced text-to-image artificial intelligence model, was the most innovative model we saw.
Mark McCaughrean is the senior advisor for science and exploration at the European Space Agency. The conditions for life to have developed could be found on the icy moons.
McCaughrean says that Jupiter will be able to look for biosignatures on the surface of Europa's ice, which could rain down from the ejected particles into space.
The Euclid telescope, which was switched from a Russian rocket to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, is scheduled to be launched later in the year. The telescope will look over a third of the sky to look for dark matter and dark energy.
When Psyche takes flight, NASA should launch a science mission of its own. The asteroid 16 Psyche is rich in metal and has never been seen before.
There will be a number of intriguing developments in the years to come. The OSIRIS-REx mission is scheduled to return to Earth in September with pieces of an asteroid which could offer new insight into the structure and formation of the solar system. The start of a 3,000-satellite communications network is what Amazon hopes to start in early 2023. Several new rockets are set to launch, including the United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket, which will carry Astrobotic's moon landers and some of Amazon's satellites. Satellites could be taken into space by both rockets.
There is a large amount of activity. This year is very exciting for me.
This story is a part of MIT Technology Review’s What’s Next series, where we look across industries, trends, and technologies to let you know what to expect in the coming year.
Privacy is the main issue at hand when it comes to Defi advocates facing off against regulators. The future of the financial systems is at stake in the case of tornado cash.
Tornado Cash is a set of smart contracts on the platform. Zero-knowledge proof is used to ensure that there is no public link between the deposit address and the withdrawal address. That means the money is no longer tied to the user's past transactions in order to provide a layer of privacy.
In August, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on 45 addresses associated with the platform, effectively banning Americans from using it. Hundreds of millions of dollars were stolen by North Korean state-sponsored hackers, according to the agency.
OFAC has approved addresses for foreign individuals before but never a smart contract. Peter Van Valkenburgh is the director of research at the coin center in Washington, DC. The contracts of OFAC can't be changed, blocked, or turned off by any of the Tornado Cash developers, according to the coin center.
The statute that gives OFAC power was never meant to be used to tell Americans which software tools they can use.
The Coin Center has filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department in order to reverse the sanctions and prevent them from being enforced against ordinary Americans. The coin center argues that OFAC does not have the power to ban software tools. A lawsuit against the Treasury is being funded by the popular UScryptocurrencies exchange.
The project's website was taken down after the sanctions came down. The Dutch authorities have accused one of the developers of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev, of being involved in money-laundering.
One of the founding members of Tornado Cash was Pertsev. Tornado Cash is an open source project and relies on a group of people. A request for a comment was not responded to by Roman.