You’d better enjoy these moments spent fiddling with a thing that has a central processing unit for a beating heart – for, according to a tech boss, the world is ‘running out of computing capacity’.
Not really. But what the head of Microsoft, Sayta Nadella, has said is that very speedy quantum computers need to be developed sharpish if we’re going to crack some of the most difficult problems facing the world today,
(If I was writing for a more famous and respected media outlet, I’d have just implied that all the computers were grinding to a halt and left you in a dazed terror for the rest of the day.)
Anyway, according to Mr Nadella, Moore’s Law, which posits that computing power doubles roughly every two years, is ‘kinda running out of steam,’ which means that quantum processing is urgently needed if we’re ‘to create all of these rich experiences we talk about, all of this artificial intelligence’.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Microsoft chief used the pursuit of a catalyst that can absorb carbon as an example of something that will need lots of computing power to develop.
Mr Nadella added that AI could actually end up curing joblessness rather than worsening it – but as Microsoft is investing heavily in it, that’s hardly a surprise (that’s AI, not joblessness).
After the talk, Mr Nadella and all the other tech bosses and captains of industry at Davos got together in a big room and agreed that is was insanity that a miniscule proportion of the world’s population had most of the wealth and that if the human race’s most pressing problems were to be resolved they should immediately start developing ways to redistribute things more fairly.
And then they all rolled around on the floor laughing for 15 minutes.