Berlin/San Francisco — Alphabet’s Google said on Wednesday it had achieved a breakthrough in computing research by using a quantum computer to solve in minutes a complex problem that would take today’s most powerful super-computer thousands of years to crack.

Google researchers expect that quantum computers, within a few years, will fuel advancements in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), materials science, and chemistry. The company is racing rivals including IBM and Microsoft to be the first to commercialise the technology and sell it through its cloud computing business...

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