Tech Firms Mine Minsk’s Minds

Belarus’s somber, sprawling capital sprouts a flourishing computing scene

3 min read
Tech Firms Mine Minsk’s Minds
Code On, Comrades! Artificial-intelligence experts program under the gaze of the father of Soviet communism. The headquarters of Invention Machine’s R&D operation is just one of many IT outfits in Minsk.
Photo: Michael Dumiak

In a quiet lane in Belarus’s capital, across from playgrounds and tower-block apartments, sits an old textile factory with a courtyard mural of a smiling Vladimir Lenin. Upstairs is something unexpected—60 programmers and artificial-intelligence researchers implementing algorithms and building databases for a sprawling semantic-search platform.

This is what Ken Klapproth calls the “factory” for the Invention Machine, a 20-year-old software firm in Boston (recently acquired by Colorado-based IHS) that specializes in natural-language processing. Klapproth leads product marketing for Invention Machine and is a solid supporter of Minsk’s IT scene.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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