Introducing Twist: A Language for Quantum Computing
Quantum Computing is accelerating in 2022 to a marked degree
The intersection of software languages and Quantum computing is rapidly approaching as the scalability for Quantum computing is accelerating in the 2020s.
Quantum computing. Unlike traditional computers that use bits, quantum computers use qubits to encode information as zeros or ones, or both at the same time. Quantum computing has experienced unprecedented growth and interest over since a new digital transformation (since the pandemic) paradigm has begun.
The Great Convergence
I’ve always wanted to write at the convergence of quantum computing, A.I., blockchain, Web 3.0 and the Metaverse and I’m finally able to do so. A simple macro event in the world can cause a Great Reshuffle, Great Automation and Great Convergence that speeds up A.I.’s ability to scale in multiple industries where adoption of things like quantum computing is also sped up.
I recently wrote about how VC is heating up in Quantum Computing. In the academic world things are also heating up. I don’t usually write about Quantum computing in my A.I. focused newsletter, but here I think it’s relevant.
Programming quantum computers require awareness of entanglement, the phenomenon in which measurement outcomes of qubits are correlated. Entanglement can determine the correctness of algorithms and the suitability of programming patterns.
Scientists from Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new programming language for quantum computing.
The language called TWIST is specifically intended to address data interlacing issues. If approved by the developer community, Twist can help reduce bugs and errors and improve data quality.
Twist Was Developed at MIT
Twist can describe and verify which pieces of data are entangled in a quantum program, through a language a classical programmer can understand. The language uses a concept called purity, which enforces the absence of entanglement and results in more intuitive programs, with ideally fewer bugs.
Who are the Major Players in 2022 in Quantum Computing?
Major players so far in Quantum Computing may be Honeywell, IBM, Google, and Intel. Along with IonQ, Rigetti and dozens of Quantum computing focused startups.
Quantum computing offers an entirely new way to think about computing. Quantum computing will soon intersect with Machine Learning in new ways.
The Advent of Quantum Developers
"Our language Twist allows a developer to write safer quantum programs by explicitly stating when a qubit must not be entangled with another," said MIT Ph.D. student Charles Yuan, the lead author on a paper about Twist. "Because understanding quantum programs requires understanding entanglement, we hope that Twist paves the way to languages that make the unique challenges of quantum computing more accessible to programmers."
The Twist is designed to be expressive enough to write out programs for well-known quantum algorithms and identifies bugs in their implementations.
A Quantum computing services sector is rollout out already in the Cloud. For example, there are now Quantum partnerships with hyperscale cloud providers like Microsoft’s Azure , and Amazon’s Bracket, that enable enterprises to experiment and begin the process of embracing quantum technology.
If you enjoy this article and Newsletter, you may enjoy my Newsletter that’s covering business news at the intersection of technology.
What is Software Convergence in Quantum Computing?
An important next step is using Twist to create higher-level quantum programming languages. Most quantum programming languages today still resemble assembly language, stringing together low-level operations, without mindfulness towards things like data types and functions, and what's typical in classical software engineering.
We are extremely nascent yet QC is making rapid progress with more Venture capital money entering the field.
Twist sounds to me more like Quantum QA than a Quantum language per se. Twist allows a developer to write safer quantum programs by explicitly stating when a qubit must not be entangled with another. It is pretty basic but illustrates how academic innovation can open the floodgates of how software and machine learning will evolve alongside the evolution of quantum computing.
Twist can describe and verify which bits of data are intertwined in a quantitative program. Fortunately, Twist uses syntax that a classic programmer can easily understand.
“Because understanding quantum programs requires understanding entanglement, we hope that Twist paves the way to languages that make the unique challenges of quantum computing more accessible to programmers.” - Charles Yuan, an MIT PhD student in electrical engineering and computer science.
If you want to go deeper into the subject I suggest you read the actual MIT blog about it. The work was supported, in part, by the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.
Twist is an MIT-developed programming language that can describe and verify which pieces of data are entangled to prevent bugs in a quantum program.
It’s hoped Twist will help attract more developers and machine learning activities to harness Quantum Computing.
"Quantum computers are error-prone and difficult to program. By introducing and reasoning about the 'purity' of program code, Twist takes a big step toward making quantum programming easier by guaranteeing that the quantum bits in a pure piece of code cannot be altered by bits not in that code," says Fred Chong, the Seymour Goodman Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago and Chief Scientist at Super.tech.
What happens in the real world when Quantum Supremacy and AI Supremacy collide? Will our Metaverse in 2035 be powered by this intersection? What are the ramifications of more funding and VC dollars being poured into Quantum Computing? Unlike much of the hype with crypto or VR, it seems like hype that could lead somewhere real faster.
In 2021 Quantum software developers have gained access to an open-source independent quantum software developer kit. The evolution of QC is also likely to be more influenced by more decentralized and distributed values popularized by Web 3.0. Enabling developers to build and run applications on a variety of hardware from IBM to Google will be better for the overall ecosystem. Additionally as those Quantum computing startups mature, they will begin to be acquired by BigTech. This consolidation will lead to some pretty impressive companies.
Google appears extremely interested in this technology at scale as it matures in A.I. with DeepMind and Google Brain among other initiatives. Since Twist is expressive enough to write out programs for well-known quantum algorithms and identify bugs in their implementations, companies like Google and Microsoft will want to own the development of some of the first mainstream Quantum computing software programming languages.
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