Quantum information technology
One far out field that may have dramatic implications for computing and software design in the coming decades is the emerging research in quantum information technology.
For example, from the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northwestern University (NU), we read that:
Quantum superposition and quantum entanglement are the bedrock on which new theoretical paradigms for information transmission, storage, and processing are being built. The preeminent obstacle to the development of quantum information technology is the difficulty of transmitting quantum information over noisy and lossy quantum communication channels, recovering and refreshing the quantum information that is received, and then storing it in a reliable quantum memory.
With support from the Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI), we have assembled a truly interdisciplinary team from researchers at MIT and Northwestern University to overcome this obstacle. The focus of our program is an architecture we have established for long-distance, high-fidelity qubit teleportation. Its key elements are:
- ultrabright, narrowband sources of polarization-entangled photon pairs;
- long-distance transmission of entangled photons over standard telecom fiber;
- qubit storage and processing in trapped atom quantum memories.
Although some of these concepts may make more obvious sense down at the bit, byte, chip, and machine language levels, I suspect that the concepts may have even greater potential if they can be transplanted to the level of software, software components, and software agents.
Try to imagine what quantum information technology might mean at the level of the Semantic Web and Web Services.
Try to imagine a large number of swarms of software agents interacting via the exchange and sharing of quantum information and built upon the concept of quantum entanglement.