IT in 2109: Living Quantum Computers, Mind Reading PCs, and DNA nanofiber CPUs

What will the Information Technology world look like in a hundred years? Here are the final three of five predictions for the state of data transport, storage, computer processing, and brain wave input devices in the year 2109. Each prediction is soundly based on our current scientific theories and understandings plus a healthy dose of imagination. These predictions are the original work of myself and my buddy and fellow security collaborator Eddie Mize. This is part 2 of 2, click to read part 1. Enjoy! Fiber to every home in the developed world - In 2109, copper transport media all but disappears from the planet. It is replaced by a new kind of fiber optic cable. This new kind of fiber optic cable is incredibly pure, tough, and flexible making it easier and cheaper to install than today’s copper cabling. Sure today’s optical fiber is bendable but doing so can introduce significant signal loss. The fiber of 2109 is bendable without incurring loss. This technology is based on a breakthrough by Corning scientists. Here is the announcement,

Corning scientists set about re-creating the molecular structure of optical fiber to prevent signal loss. A nanoStructures™ ring around the fiber’s core acts as a microscopic “guardrail” to keep light from escaping—even when the fiber is bent tightly, over and over again. Corning also created a new cable design that is flexible, rugged and compact—able to withstand stapling and other realities of network deployment. Compatible, smaller hardware provides simplicity and ease during installation.
Stapling Fiber optic cabling up just like you would a copper phone line; now that is progress! Since fiber cabling will be ubiquitous in 2109, all digital transport is done using laser light. This enables the mass adoption of quantum-encrypted data flows all the way to the host itself. The host-to-host SSL encryption technique that we use everyday for things like secure web transactions will be replaced by quantum encryption by 2109. As I mentioned in a previous blog, quantum encryption is unhackable given the current laws of physics. Computers with living DNA, literally! – In the future, the innards of our PCs and Servers will go through a radical evolutionary change. The silicon wafers of today’s computers will be replaced by living DNA cells capable of computing! These molecular computers will use photons, instead of electrons, to move data across its circuit boards. The computer chips of 2109 will be composed of trillions of nanoscale DNA “fiber optic wires” instead of today’s copper wires. These “fiber optic wires” are actually strands of living DNA mixed with molecules called chromophores (chromophores have light absorbing and emitting properties). The chromophores attach themselves along the DNA strand thus enabling the channeling of light along the DNA strand’s length. These light-carrying “wires” are easy to manufacture because they literally build themselves do to the natural attraction of the molecules involved. The DNA wires are also self-healing to some degree. If a chromophore becomes damaged or dislodged from the DNA strand another chromophore will eagerly take its place. So how does this computer perform memory and processing tasks? It uses quantum computing of course! If you’re able to create a living computer that uses photons the logical next step is to advance to quantum processing. Here is a excerpt by howstuffworks.com explaining Quantum computing;
Quantum computers aren't limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in superposition. Qubits represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor. Quantum computing harnesses the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks. Computer scientists control the microscopic particles that act as qubits in quantum computers by using control devices like: * Ion traps use optical or magnetic fields (or a combination of both) to trap ions. * Optical traps use light waves to trap and control particles.
These living quantum computers will be millions of times more powerful than today’s computers. We will measure their raw processing power in the teraflops (trillions of floating-point operations per second) surpassing today’s measurements of gigaflops (billions of floating-point operations per second). This evolutionary new computer system also needs a new name. So here it goes, QuCL (kw-ek-al). QuCL is an acronym for Quantum Computer – Living. Inanimate quantum computers would be called QuCN (Quantum Computer – Nonliving) pronounced kw-ek-in. Lets use QuCL in a sentence; “I’ve been working on my QuCL all day!” ROFLMAO! Ok… maybe we just go with QC (Quantum Computer) instead? What will QuCLs look like? Well, Quantum Computers would look part machine and part plant, more specifically an algae like plant. This is because the natural photonic wires found inside algae are used to transport photons to parts of a cell where their energy can be used. This natural occurrence of photonic wires makes algae a prime candidate to host a living quantum computer. The computer would be part mechanical and part plant. I picture it looking something like an algae based Chia Pet. Maybe like this one: ☺

Given that part of the QuCL is organic it can get its energy just like any other plant, water, light, and a nutrient rich soilless bed. The cells will perform their own photosynthesis to produce the energy the organic part of the QuCL needs to operate. Talk about a green computer, this one would even output oxygen! The mechanical side would run on either solar or electrical grid power. Data Storage - For long term data storage the QuCL would use a 20-mile long ring of nanometer fiber optic cable. Given the thinness of the fiber used, the ring would only be a few centimeters big. This fiber ring would connect directly to the DNA based “chips” so photons could pass from one to the other seamlessly. This new type of data storage solution would also trap data photons from the network fiber and other input devices. Before entering or exiting the ring, the light would be quantumly encrypted. The encrypted data photons are trapped inside of the nano-fiber ring. The photons are trapped using a method very similar to the Corning nanoStructures™ “guardrail” ring technology described previously. The nano-fiber ring is designed to trap light sent to it and keep it circulating in the ring for perpetuity. When you need to read the data it inserts a quark that causes a collision. The QuCL then analyzes the traits of the collision to read the data. This photon data storage “drive” would have more capacity than all of the drives in existence today combined, no moving parts, produce low heat, and read data at near the speed of light! Extinction of viruses, worms, and malware - All computers will utilize the massive processing power of quantum computing to become near-sentient. Very much like the HAL computer in the movie “a space odyssey” or Data in star trek. If the sentient computers recognize a fault or intrusion they will then open up a nano-worm-hole to reach back in time to grab their previous system state. This allows for near instantaneous system restore using data from before the fault or intrusion was detected. The use of nano-worm holes makes it impossible for an attacker to alter your current data or your backup/restore data. Now that’s a tamper proof system that is sure to pass the chain of custody rules! Brain waves and bio-chips replace the keyboard and mouse - In 2109 keyboards, mice and other input devices will be replaced with a direct linkage into the human brain. Computers will have sensors that can read and understand human brain waves from a short distance. It is able to interpret these brain waves as input. This effectively allows the computer to read the mind of a human. To solve the issue of verifying the authenticity and integrity of the input source, the computer will tag all input with the users unique brain wave pattern. The human brain wave pattern will become the fingerprint and digital ID of the future. If you think about it without this security in place we would be able to read each others thoughts through our computers. Now that is scary. Perhaps we should allow the security to be tweaked so you can turn it on and off selectively. This would allow humans to be Clairvoyant! The future looks bright folks! In fact, if these predictions all come true I’ll be out of a job (yep, I plan to live to see 2109). Data security concerns will be virtually extinct. The kind of computers, networks, storage devices and input devices I’ve predicted for the future would allow us to change as a species. The massive amounts of computing power that would be available to us in the future would allow humans to solve almost any scientific problem. It would help us unlock the secrets of our biology and our universe. Maybe even usher in an age of inter-galactic space travel. If you haven’t read part 1 of our predictions yet see here: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/38826 Bio: Eddie Mize has over 26 years in the Computer Industry. Over 10 years in InfoSec. He is an integration specialist with years of experience integrating multiple platforms and systems to provide comprehensive "best of class" solutions. He is a DefCon Goon with a big imagination and also an accomplished artist. His specialties include real-world pen testing, social engineering-foo, PCI/DSS Assessment and Remediation, HIPAA Assessment and Remediation, E-Discovery, Red Flad Rules, as well as psychotic and thought provoking art. He is the CISO for a major healthcare organization in Denver Colorado and his art work can be seen all over the front range of Colorado at many art shows. Eddie’s Art - http://eddietheyeti.deviantart.com/

The opinions and information presented here are my personal views and not those of my employer.

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