Grey Room

Quantum Computing and the Analog/Digital Distinction

Jens Schröter, Christoph Ernst, Martin Warnke

IBM. SystemOne quantum computer, January 2019. Courtesy and © IBM Corporation.


Many regard the quantum computer as a key technology for the twenty-first century: “quantum fever” has broken out, and more than a few observers see the “next revolution” looming. Today both large technology companies and lavishly financed research programs of various nation-states are driving development of these machines, which exploit the quantum states of various materials to perform computation. At present, viable quantum computers take a range of forms, none of which are yet stabilized and well-established. Nonetheless, they are at the center of a hope to develop completely new informatic technologies—so-called quantum technologies—that use quantum effects. Such revolutionary discourses are well-known to media studies, whose reflections on change and upheaval in the history of media can also reframe our understanding of quantum computing.