Today’s news from the frontier of quantum computing includes Amazon Web Services’ release of cloud-based simulation software for modeling the electromagnetic properties of quantum hardware, Google’s latest technological advance aimed at lowering the error rate of quantum calculations, and new recommendations about the public sector’s role on the frontier.
Three years after Seattle software developer Emma Haruka Iwao and her teammates at Google set the world record for calculating pi precisely, they’ve done it again. Thanks to Iwao and Google Cloud, we now know what pi equals to an incredible precision of 100 trillion digits.
Mathematicians have been working out the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter for millennia, going back at least as far as the Babylonians (who figured it at 3.125). It’s important for scientists and engineers to know the irrational number’s value with a high degree of precision, but beyond a certain point, it’s really all about showing how well an algorithm or a computer network can handle more practical problems.
The billion-dollar competition to provide Boeing with cloud computing services is finished, and the winner is … a three-way split. Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft are all getting a share of the business, Boeing announced today.
In a LinkedIn post, Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer and senior VP for information technology and data analytics, called it a “multi-cloud partnership.”
“This represents a significant investment in the digital tools that will empower Boeing’s next 100 years,” she wrote. “These partnerships strengthen our ability to test a system — or an aircraft — hundreds of times using digital twin technology before it is deployed.”
Doniz said that becoming more cloud-centric will provide Boeing with “global scalability and elasticity without having to predict, procure, maintain and pay for on-premises servers.” Financial details relating to the multi-cloud partnership were not disclosed.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google are involved in a bidding process to provide Boeing with cloud computing services, a contract that’s expected to be worth at least $1 billion over several years, The Information reports.
Today’s report is attributed to four people with knowledge of the matter. We’ve reached out to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud as well as Boeing, but this is typically something such companies doesn’t talk about publicly during negotiations — as The Information found out. (For what it’s worth, Google Cloud sent us a “no comment” email.)
The Information says AWS considers the Boeing contract “a must-win deal.” Andy Jassy, who’s currently in charge of AWS’ cloud business and is due to take over as Amazon’s CEO on July 5, is reportedly directly involved in the process.
Word that a Google-led team of researchers had achieved “quantum supremacy” with a new type of computer chip leaked out weeks ago, but today’s publication of the team’s study in the journal Nature gave outsiders their first good look at what was done. And most of them were impressed.
There were the usual caveats, of course: The project focused on a specific problem in random number generation that’s doesn’t relate directly to everyday applications, and it could be years before the technology behind Google AI Quantum’s Sycamore chip becomes commercially available.
Nevertheless, the computational demonstration provided evidence that quantum computers can do some tasks far more quickly than classical computers.
“This is an exciting scientific achievement for the quantum industry, and another step on a long journey towards a scalable, viable quantum future,” Microsoft, one of Google’s competitors in the realm of quantum computing, said in a statement emailed to GeekWire.
Artificial intelligence can rev up recommendation engines and make self-driving cars safer. It can even beat humans at their own games. But what else will it do?
At today’s session of the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference, a panel of techies took a look at the state of AI applications — and glimpsed into their crystal balls to speculate about the future of artificial intelligence.
What’s the best way to celebrate Pi Day? That’s the geeky holiday that takes place on 3/14 … in other words, today. For some, it’s a day for baking geeky pies, or getting a $3.14 deal on slices of pizza. For Google, it’s a day for breaking a world record, by calculating the irrational number’s value to 31.4 trillion digits of precision.
31,415,926,535,897 digits, to be exact.
Pi enters into every walk of life, if that walk happens to be circular. On one level, it’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. On another level, it’s a mystical number to contemplate, because the digits just go on, and on, and on …
Physicist Larry Shaw invented a ritual to celebrate that mystical value, and that ritual was first celebrated at San Francisco’s Exploratorium for the first time 30 years ago. It involves walking in a circular procession on 3/14 at 1:59 p.m. (in honor of 3.14159), singing happy birthday to Albert Einstein, and reveling in a pie feast (fruit and/or pizza). The ritual is celebrated at the Exploratorium to this day.
Google today unveiled a $25 million initiative called the Google AI Impact Challenge, aimed at soliciting and supporting projects that make use of artificial intelligence to solve some of the world’s greatest social, humanitarian and environmental problems.
The global challenge is open to nonprofit organizations and public charities — and to for-profit businesses as well, as long as their projects have a charitable purpose.
Google’s call to humanitarian action is part of its broader “AI for Social Good” campaign, and comes just weeks after Google Cloud decided not to bid on the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud computing project due to ethical concerns.
Microsoft, which is bidding on the contract, announced its own $40 million “AI for Humanitarian Action” initiative last month. And in the weeks before his death, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen set up a new organization called the Vulcan Machine Learning Center for Impact to support the use of machine learning for philanthropic projects.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The small world of quantum physics is a big deal on the frontier of computer science.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella rates quantum computing as one of three key technologies that will shape his company’s future, along with artificial intelligence and mixed reality. Google and NASA are working with D-Wave Systems to blaze a quantum trail. IBM has its Q initiative, and Boeing’s newly formed Disruptive Computing & Networks unit is targeting quantum as well.
What’s going on?
Google is aiming to challenge Amazon’s Echo Show by releasing its own smart speaker equipped with a screen in time for this year’s holiday season, Nikkei Asian Review reported today.
In a report from Taipei, the Japan-based publication quoted an unnamed industry source as saying that Google is planning to ship an initial batch of 3 million units. “It’s an aggressive plan,” the source said.
Google declined to comment on the report. “We do not comment on rumors or speculation,” the Google press team told GeekWire in an email.