The Future of Riots

Video surveillance of London's rioters points to future of facial recognition

3 min read

On 6 August, peaceful protests over the police shooting of a local man in London's Tottenham district exploded into full-blown riots. During four days of assaults, arson, and looting, some of London's thousands of closed-circuit TV cameras captured video of the violence.

In the aftermath of the unrest, police officials began poring over footage in an attempt to identify suspected rioters. They even employed a facial recognition system designed for use during the 2012 Olympic Games, in London. But they found traditional investigative techniques to be much more fruitful than software, in part because many of the rioters had obscured their faces with hoods or bandannas, and because other factors such as poor lighting made it difficult to identify people.

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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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