A teenager from Texas has taken quantum computing down a notch. In a paper posted online earlier this month, 18-year-old Ewin Tang proved that ordinary computers can solve an important computing problem with performance potentially comparable to that of a quantum computer.
Usually the benefits of quantum computing are difficult to understand – unless you are actively working in the field. But one of the most relatable problems that quantum algorithms could solve better than classical algorithms is the “recommendation” problem. Basically, the question of how services like Netflix or Amazon can find new things you will like based on your viewing/browsing habits and community ratings in a reasonable amount of time. Previously, it was believed that quantum algorithms were the only way to solve this problem, but an 18 year old MIT student has developed a way for today’s computers to solve it just as fast.
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