It’s estimated that air travel produces roughly two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. That alone is a good enough reason to explore innovative designs and create more efficient airplanes, but there’s also the fact that airlines operate on very slim margins, so every bit of fuel they manage to save can go a long way in helping them make more profit.
While computers have been helping engineers and designers optimize the aerodynamic properties of airplanes for decades, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are the first to explore the absolute cutting edge of what is currently possible in science and engineering by using quantum computing.
Unlike regular computers, which can, at the most fundamental level, represent only two states using transistors (0 = off, 1 = on), quantum computers can be in a 1 or 0 quantum state, or in a superposition of the 1 and 0 state, which essentially means that they can be on and off at the same time. This allows them to represent all possible system states simultaneously, massively speeding up certain specialized computations.
To build its quantum expertise, KAUST has partnered with Zapata Computing, a quantum software company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Zapata will provide its Orquestra toolset, which promises to greatly simplify the process of conducting research in quantum computing.
“Quantum computing is still very novel, but it’s going to be a truly disruptive technology that will provide enormous cross-industry opportunities,” said Matteo Parsani, Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science at KAUST. “Building a knowledge base of quantum expertise at KAUST in the interdisciplinary field of computational fluid dynamics can only be a good thing both for the university and for the Kingdom.”
The potential of quantum computing to accelerate progress the same way traditional computers have is truly immense, but the technology is still in its infancy, and it may take researchers some time to produce useful results. Hopefully, the team at KAUST will be able to design more efficient airplanes taking us further in a cleaner fashion.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.