The one thing everyone knows about quantum mechanics is its legendary weirdness, in which the basic tenets of the world it describes seem alien to the world we live in. Superposition, where things can be in two states simultaneously, a switch both on and off, a cat both dead and alive. Or entanglement, what Einstein called “spooky action-at-distance” in which objects are invisibly linked, even when separated by huge distances.
But weird or not, quantum theory is approaching a century old and has found many applications in daily life. As John von Neumann once said: “You don’t understand quantum mechanics, you just get used to it.” Much of electronics is based on quantum [...]
When Google’s algorithm AlphaGo beat South Korean Go Grandmaster Lee Se-dol by 4-1 last week, it was a significant event in the world of algorithms and artificial intelligence. This is because it represented a new form of artificial intelligence: intuitive artificial intelligence, something which is remarkably more challenging than standard artificial intelligence.
The disruption happening thanks to algorithms is happening all around us. The largest taxi company in the world, Uber, owns no taxis, but uses smart algorithms to connect drivers and passengers. The largest telephone company in the world, WhatsApp, has no telecom infrastructure, but sends over 35 billion message per [...]