In October, Google touted a breakthrough that CEO Sundar Pichai likened to the Wright brothers' first flight. The company said its researchers had achieved quantum supremacy—the moment that a quantum computer performs a calculation impossible for any conventional computer.
But neither the company nor Pichai have said much about another quantum computing team at Alphabet, at its secretive lab X. Formerly known as Google X, the lab is dedicated to incubating "moonshot" technologies that might underpin new Google-scale businesses. Its small group of quantum researchers and leader are focused on creating new algorithms and applications to run on quantum computers, and building software libraries that allow conventional coders to use the exotic machines.
"Hardware's very interesting [but] it's really software that gets the majority of the value creation," said Jack Hidary, the serial entrepreneur who leads X's quantum research, in a November talk at Carnegie Mellon University.
The group may be growing: Two X recruiters said on LinkedIn they are working to hire quantum experts.
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