Education

Amol Rajan Interviews Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) about the technology giant and Quantum Computing

July 13, 2021

In a one hour interview, the BBC journalist (who studied physics) has interviewed the CEO of Google about the practices of the technology giant and the technology that the company is creating. Interestingly one of the opening scenes was the Quantum Computing effort from Google, showing their researchers working on their Quantum device in their lab. This interview will have (hopefully) captured the minds of many, but likely, for quite a few viewers will have been their first introduction to quantum computing (and this strange cryogenic device with myriad cables).

In the interview, Amol states some of the fundamentals of how a qubit differs from a classical bit and we see that Sundar Pichai is pretty impressed by the summary given by his interviewer about the ability of a qubit to co-exist in a number of states. Fundamentally, we always like it when interviews try to put the science back in and try not to patronize the audience. Ever since the demise of BBC’s Tomorrows World, which was a very popular science programme, there hasn’t been enough decent science and technology covered on mainstream television platforms. This was the first of a series of interviews and we look forward to seeing more by Amol, who didn’t shy away from asking the Google CEO some potentially awkward questions and of course it helps that Amol studied science and could understand some of the often difficult fundamental concepts in the field.

What a refreshing interview and congratulations for the team daring to take on a difficult concept but one that will hopefully inspire the current and future generation of students, entrepreneurs and researchers to see Quantum as a mainstream industry that has the potential to be as impactful as AI. If you missed the interview, it is available on BBC iplayer. The pair even manage a quick game of cricket, sharing their love of the game.

Google was the first company to announce Quantum supremacy, where a quantum algorithm operates faster than its classical counterpart. Such a milestone was important not only for the company but the quantum community. Other countries such as China have followed up with their own demonstration of quantum supremacy. Google has its won Quantum Computing language named cirq and has integrated quantum machine learning into its popular tensorflow framework.

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