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Amazon Brings Quantum Computing to AWS Cloud: Report

Not just Google but several tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Intel have joined the race to build a scalable quantum computer. IBM has unveiled its quantum computer with 53 qubits

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Amazon
Amazon Logo is seen at the company logistic center in Lauwin-Planquin, France.

Taking on rivals like Google which has claimed to have attained “quantum supremacy”, Amazon’s Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Monday announced a new service that will help scientists, researchers and developers to begin experimenting with computers from multiple quantum hardware providers in a single place.

Called “Amazon Braket”, the new service is designed to let you get some hands-on experience with qubits and quantum circuits, the company said as it kicked off its annual flagship conference titled “AWS Re: Invent” here.

“You can build and test your circuits in a simulated environment and then run them on an actual quantum computer. Amazon Braket is a fully managed AWS service, with security & encryption baked in at each level,” said Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist at AWS.

Based on quantum bits, the computers of the future will not use classical bits but “qubits” which are not limited to binary and can have properties of 0 and 1 simultaneously, thus trying every possible number and sequence simultaneously to unlock vast amounts of data.

The current bits in computers store information as either a 1 or 0, thus limiting the potential to make sense when faced with gigantic volumes of data.

Amazon, Web, Services
AWS is the Cloud arm of retail giant Amazon. Pixabay

AWS also announced an “AWS Center for Quantum Computing” adjacent to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that will bring together the world’s leading quantum computing researchers and engineers in order to accelerate development of quantum computing hardware and software.

Quantum computing is definitely not mainstream today, but that time is coming. It is a very powerful tool that can solve certain types of problems that are difficult or impossible to solve classically,” said Barr.

The company also announced Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab — a new programme to connect AWS customers with quantum computing experts from Amazon and a very select set of consulting partners.

“Our goal is to make sure you know enough about quantum computing to start looking for some appropriate use cases and conducting some tests and experiments,” Barr added.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in October that Google’s team of researchers has achieved a big breakthrough in quantum computing known as “quantum supremacy”.

“It’s a term of art that means we’ve used a quantum computer to solve a problem that would take a classical computer an impractically long amount of time,” Pichai said.

Not just Google but several tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Intel have joined the race to build a scalable quantum computer. IBM has unveiled its quantum computer with 53 qubits. (IANS)

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Amazon Employees Risk Their Jobs by Criticizing Amazon’s Record on Climate Change

Workers Criticize Amazon on Climate Despite Risk to Jobs

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Amazon employees
Employees walk through a lobby at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. VOA

Hundreds of employees are openly criticizing Amazon’s record on climate change despite what they say is a company policy that puts their jobs at risk for speaking out.

On Sunday, more than 300 employees of the online retail giant signed their names and job titles to statements on blog post on Medium. The online protest was organized by a group called Amazon Employees For Climate Justice, an advocacy group founded by Amazon workers that earlier this month said the company had sent letters to its members threatening to fire them if they continued to speak to the press.

“It’s our moral responsibility to speak up, and the changes to the communications policy are censoring us from exercising that responsibility,” said Sarah Tracy, a software development engineer at Amazon, in a statement.

Amazon employees at the company logistics centre in Boves
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France. VOA

Amazon said that its policy on external communications is not new and is in keeping with other large companies. It said the policy applies to all Amazon employees and is not directed at any specific group.

“While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside the company that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems,” according to a spokesperson from the company.

Amazon, which relies on fossil fuels to power the planes, trucks and vans that ship packages all over the world, has an enormous carbon footprint. And its workers have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices.

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Last year, more than 8,000 staffers signed an open letter to CEO and founder Jeff Bezos demanding that it cut its carbon emissions, end its use of fossil fuels and stop its work with oil companies that use Amazon’s technology to locate fossil fuel deposits.

The company said in a statement that it is passionate about climate change issues and has already pledged to become net zero carbon by 2040 and use 100% renewable energy by 2030. (VOA)