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Android founder throwing in his lot with quantum computing, AI

Andy Rubin is throwing his investing umph into quantum computing technologies with an eye on general purpose AI as an end result.

Published onJune 15, 2016

Andy Rubin

Andy Rubin was one of the individuals responsible for the original creation of the Android operating system. The entrepreneur left Google a couple of years ago, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the tech game. In fact, he still has a pretty strong hand in developing technologies thanks to his software incubator and venture capital firm Playground Global. At Bloomberg’s Technology Conference this year, Rubin revealed that his current interests are primarily quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Rubin believes that new computing platform arrive roughly every decade, citing DOS, visual operating systems like Windows, and the mobile world as points of reference. The next frontier, he says, is artificial intelligence which will be powered by quantum computing. Although quantum computing is still in its infancy, entities like Google and MIT have seen marginal progress in smaller scale projects.

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A sufficiently powerful quantum computing system would be capable of performing operations fast enough that a single quantum computer could run all of the world’s smartphones and computers simultaneously. Essentially, if one quantum computer is created, it might be the only one we ever need, in Rubin’s opinion. This could be used to create massively powerful artificial intelligences, and Rubin is keenly interested in investing in these technologies. Playground and Redpoint Ventures have subsequently invested in a startup specializing in quantum computing.

This writer, who is halfway through reading Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom, a book that throws around terms like “existential catastrophe” as part of the basic nomenclature of discussing the development of artificial intelligence, is more than slightly concerned about such initiatives, as is technology homeboy and real-life Tony Stark Elon Musk, who says that creating true AI is “summoning the demon.” But maybe fears of general purpose AI are exaggerated. What are your thoughts regarding the development of these branches of technology? Give us your opinion in the comments below.

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