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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna On The Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack, The ‘Worrisome’ Chip Shortage And The Future Of AI

Wade Tyler Millward

“We’re going to look back at this time and probably declare 2021 as the year that we entered the digital era completely,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says. “The pandemic, as I’ve said before, took 10 years of digital acceleration and brought it in two years, those two being ’20 and ’21.”

‘The World Needs Quantum Computers’

To solve problems beyond the reach of computers today, IBM needs to win the battle for the computers of tomorrow.

“There are going to be problems around materials, around risk-taking, EV (electric vehicle) batteries ... modeling that out at its scale on today’s computers cannot happen. Quantum computers will give us the ability to do all of those problems. That is why we are so excited about quantum computers.”

The challenge is new science and new software to create these computers, with IBM on a roadmap to 1000-qubit (quantum bit) computers by 2023. “Fifty to 100 is where we are today,” he said.

Honeywell, Google and D-Wave are among the small number of players working on them. “A lot of people will talk about quantum simulation and quantum algorithms. I believe that within five-to-10 years you need an actual quantum computer. Just simulating a quantum computer on something else is going to give you no advantage. It’ll be very interesting to play with. Some scientists may love playing around, discovering which algorithms are possible, but there is no commercial advantage.”

“I hope they’re successful, all of us. The world needs quantum computers. That said, I predict that only a few of us are going to stay the course and get there.”

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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