You may have heard something about “quantum computing.” This appears to be where the future of computing is heading, and uses quantum mechanics and something called a “qubit” instead of the typical ones and zeros of binary computer that we use today. Quantum computing, when perfected, will provide some truly blistering data rates that could allow AI and machine learning to evolve into truly self-aware computing devices, also know as “the singularity.” Think Skynet, without all the killing of humans hopefully.
One thing that quantum computing breaks is the asymmetric public key encryption that is the foundation of secure and private transactions on the Internet today. This would need to be replaced, and fortunately there are people working on quantum encryption too. According to NIST, the soonest this is likely to be necessary would be 2029.
A group of Cambridge physicists are working on something called Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and have come up with a methods that overcomes the serious signal attenuation issues that have been a problem. Under current designs, QKD information cannot be sent further than 250 miles, with out a quantum signal repeater, and data rates drop to astonishingly low rates. The Cambridge Research Laboratory has found a way to do this using photons and existing fiber optic networks to send quantum keys at higher bitrates.
Quantum computer and quantum encryption are way off in the future. But you may want to add quantum computing to your list of news topics to follow.