Google announced today a partnership with NASA and D-Wave to launch a lab to solve artificial intelligence problems with the aid of quantum computing.
Quantum computing is in its infancy, but it’s still very tough to wrap one’s head around. Here’s one way to think of it: traditional computers complete calculations based on bits. A bit can have either of two values–zero or one–at any given point. But quantum computers use something called qubits, which aren’t constrained by a binary nature–they can be zero, one, or anything in between, or several values, all at the same time. That makes them very valuable to calculate probability, or likelihood–anything that has more than one possible answer–because they can figure out a bunch of different calculations at the same time.