Michio Kaku Talks to Joe Rogan About the Future of Quantum Computing
There’s a Race In Progress
long-form Podcasts, Joe Rogan’s experience features comedian Joe Rogan interviewing some of the most interesting people on the planet, including actors, musicians, MMA fighters, writers, and performers.
Earlier this month, Rogan could chat with theoretical physicist, futurist and science communicator, Michio Kaku. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center, has also written several books on physics and related subjects and appeared on radio, television, and film.
So it’s Kaku, then, to give podcast viewers his take on what quantum computing is and where it’s headed. We have specifically omitted some of the more compelling claims in this coverage and we advise the viewer’s discretion. In particular some of the claims about what a quantum computer can do are highly contentious.
“Well, there is a race going on. The race between China and the United States. Between IBM and Google. The race to dominate the next generation of computers as Silicon Valley could become a seatbelt,” began Kaku, not taking things lightly from the start. “Think about it, today’s digital computers can be like the abacus of years ago. We’re talking about today’s computers becoming obsolete with this race to perfect the next generation, which is quantum computers.”
He then gives a brief overview of what differentiates a quantum computer from its classical counterpart:
“Instead of competing on transistors, we are competing on atoms. think about it. This is the ultimate computer. There’s nothing smaller than what you can do with atoms. And that’s what this quantum computer calculates. And that creates all kinds of problems.”
Kaku later stated that the CIA was worried that quantum computers would bypass its own security walls and other security measures, also noting that industry too would be created out of nothing.
“The drug will be reversed,” he continues, even though some in the quantum industry argue that Kaku is blatantly overstating the market. “Energy production, entertainment and every aspect of society will be transformed by quantum computers. And that’s why there is this race, the race to perfect the quantum computer.”
Rogan’s response to Kaku’s claim is interesting:
“Now, what’s the worst-case scenario if one of these American companies, let’s call them Microsoft, wins a race and they develop some kind of functional quantum computer that just destroys everything — they basically become like a superpower?”
“That’s right,” said Kaku. “Remember when IBM dominated everything and then Microsoft came along? A group of teenagers came. Everyone thought this was a group of teenagers, what could they do, right? And then these teenagers took over the world. So we’re talking about something on that scale. It was a company that could make a breakthrough to create a workable all-purpose quantum computer, who wouldn’t want to buy one? adding that with this scenario we are talking about the bestsellers of the time.
Rogan made the good point that the power attached to the position was so overwhelming that anyone wielding it would likely be unrivaled.
“You remember PCs before Bill Gates and his company?”, Kaku continued, “PCs were toys, toys in a museum, basically. I mean, it’s something you show your friends, but you can’t do anything about it. And then along came Microsoft, we showed you, no, no, we can do things. You can do your income taxes, you can do spreadsheets, you can do this and this and then it works.
Despite being excited about where quantum computing is going, Kaku is still standing on his feet:
“So, we are currently at a stage where computers are still not ready to be used for general calculations. But when it does happen, we talk about virtual chemistry, virtual biology. Everyone wants to jump in the game.
Featured image: Joe Rogan’s Experience