White House OSTP Hails Quantum Computing Breakthrough, Fed Support

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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Oct. 23 hailed a report from Google that the company’s Sycamore quantum computer has achieved “an experimental realization of quantum supremacy” for a specific computational task over the abilities of classical supercomputers, and thus “heralding a much-anticipated computing paradigm.”

According to OSTP, the claim from Google “has proven the scientific theory of quantum supremacy, demonstrating that a quantum computer can perform tasks that reach beyond the capabilities of classical computers. Sycamore showcased an algorithm that becomes exponentially harder for classical machines to emulate as the number of quantum bits increases.”

OSTP pointed to the “strong coordination” between the private sector, academia, and the Federal government that made Google’s discovery possible. On the Federal government front, that includes support from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation, reliance on a Department of Energy supercomputer, and help from the NASA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab to verify the experiment.

Michael Kratsios, U.S. CTO, commented, “The United States has taken a great leap forward in quantum computing. This critical milestone verifying quantum computational supremacy shows America’s unparalleled innovation ecosystem at work. We will continue to embrace the strong public and private partnerships that produce incredible innovations and make America the world leader in technology.”

Separately, a report in at least one science journal notes that IBM is rebutting Google’s claims about the speed at which IBM’s Summit supercomputer can perform the same task.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.