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What happened and why was it necessary to immediately turn off NASA’s quantum computer?

What happened and why was it necessary to immediately turn off NASA's quantum computer? 1

A quantum computer is a fundamentally new logic in electronics hardware that has literally incredible potential compared to traditional systems.

In short, in a conventional processor we have only two output states 1 and 0, but in a quantum computer qubits come into play, which imply hundreds of possible states of the occurrence of the event 1 or 0. Thanks to the operation of the probability cloud, the power and speed of the quantum system increases quite significantly.

Now let’s digress for a moment from the physical aspects of the issue and turn to cinematography. Everyone has seen the great movie Terminator, right? Remember what Skynet is? This is a cunning artificial intelligence that has taken control of all systems that can be controlled via a network and have Internet access. A united group of computers began to fight man and try to destroy life on the planet.

The fact that work on creating artificial intelligence is being carried out all over the world is also not news. Intelligent surveillance systems, AI and image generation – all this is already our reality.

The universe of cyber threats facing NASA is also growing. The agency has become an attractive target for foreign and domestic hackers because of its activities in space and research in areas such as the development of new aircraft. 

Over the past year, NASA’s IT department has seen a large uptick in phishing attacks against agency employees, with hackers trying to take advantage of the shift to remote work to try to trick employees into providing personal information that can be used to gain access to NASA systems.

Not long ago it became known that NASA planned to install the first intelligent system on a quantum computer and try to test its performance. When the information surfaced, activists demanded that this work be stopped immediately.

Terminator entered the quantum world
Terminator entered the quantum world.

Quantum computers have the potential to break encryption systems, making sensitive information vulnerable to malicious attacks. Moreover, as in the Terminator, no one will know that this happened.

Modeling of third-party systems of activists showed that the most harmless way such work could end is the distribution of personal data of workers via a database of unknown email addresses. But more secret data could just as easily be leaked.

Moreover, artificial intelligence, coupled with the power and specificity of a quantum computer, is capable of doing a variety of things – dragging itself across the Internet, building its own neural networks, intercepting control of any electronic systems.

When the information reached the government, NASA was required to temporarily suspend the operation of their quantum computer and stop developing until the circumstances were clarified. 

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After all, the AI algorithm has already been loaded into the NASA system. Elon Musk and the famous physicist Michio Kaku have already spoken out about the situation.

In a world where technology is constantly redrawing the boundaries of what’s possible, we are on the cusp of another revolution that could bring incredible advances to our species.

But quantum computers are also fraught with dangers that are difficult to calculate, especially when combined with artificial intelligence. Will machines soon take control, or will this technology only benefit us?


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