AUSTIN—William Hurley, CEO and founder of Strangeworks, has to explain quantum computing to a crowd of 5,000 SXSW 2018 attendees today. Non-binary states, entanglement, and nano-electrode gates can be pretty complicated for a general audience, but Hurley, a.k.a. whurley, shouldn’t have a problem: he’s the author of Quantum Computing for Babies.
Whurley—the name is his former UNIX handle—has a diverse background in systems analysis. He has worked for Apple and IBM, where he was named a “master inventor,” and he was hired by a group of casinos to do penetration testing on their security systems. Now he’s launching Strangeworks to help bring quantum computing to the masses.
“We are software developers, not physicists, which really pisses off the physicists,” whurley says. Creating tools for software developers is a big part of what Strangeworks will do. According to whurley, “there needs to be a group that is building tools—some freely available, some open source, some paid for—that make it very easy for all of the software developers in the world to download and play with quantum computers.”
There are a lot of companies investing in quantum computers—Google, Microsoft, and IBM all have sophisticated initiatives. That said, the US is probably not the leader in this space. “If I ranked us, I’d put the US seventh or eighth. We are not inventing enough from a government side or a university side.”
Although most of our conversation is about quantum computing, whurley also delivered a message to Bitcoin fans: “You are basing your entire system on a random white paper from an anonymous author which you downloaded from a chat room. Does that seem right to you?’
“When people are getting second mortgages to buy Bitcoin, there is a problem,” he says.
Watch our full interview in the video above.
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