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Google’s parent company Alphabet has a secretive team working on the future of quantum technologies, and it’s finally starting to come out of the woodwork.

It’s called Sandbox (or, as it’s styled internally, Sandbox@Alphabet) and it’s exploring “the intersection of physics and AI.”

Sources familiar with the project say the team works in the same building as Alphabet’s moonshots division, X, and is made up largely of former X employees — but X says Sandbox operates as a separate group. 

Sandbox is also independent from Google’s better-known Quantum AI team in Santa Barbara, which in 2019 claimed to reach “quantum supremacy” by having a quantum computer solve a problem exponentially faster than a classical computer. IBM disputed the claim, leading to a public sparring match between quantum computing experts.

But in early 2020, Wired first reported on the existence of a second quantum effort happening inside X. A spokesperson at the time also said that the group was separate from X. An Alphabet spokesperson told Insider that the project had been in the works for three years, though it has only recently become public.

Since 2020, the group has started to pull back the curtain on their work. Several employees have also updated their LinkedIn profiles in recent weeks to reveal that they now work as Sandbox.

Many of them said they officially became Sandbox employees this year, according to LinkedIn, and several previously had roles working on quantum research inside X.

Sources say Sandbox is trying to be an independent quantum computing lab

The Sandbox group is led by Jack Hidary, a tech entrepreneur and author of the book “Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach.” He reports to X head Astro Teller, sources say. 

Hidary previously described himself as “Senior Advisor to X Labs, the advanced innovation lab of Alphabet/Google” on his own website. That was recently changed to “Director of Quantum and AI at Alphabet.” 

“Sandbox is a small team at Alphabet, home to researchers exploring the intersection of physics and artificial intelligence in areas such as high performance computing,” an Alphabet spokesperson told Insider. “Sandbox collaborates and shares technical learnings across Alphabet, including with Google’s quantum and AI and Cloud teams, and with various Other Bets.”

The spokesperson declined to make Hidary or any other members of the Sandbox team available for interview. They added that the group has been named Sandbox since its inception three years ago. However, it appears that …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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Google has put together a secretive team to build the future of quantum computing, called Sandbox. Here’s what we know about it. (GOOG)

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