This week, the Google Quantum A.I. Lab announced that it hired Martinis and his Santa Barbara team to build a new breed of quantum computing hardware. Though Martinis will maintain his affiliation with UC Santa Barbara and continue to mentor his PhD students there, he will spend most of his time on his research at Google. The move proves that Google is serious about quantum computing, and given the company's vast influence and deep pockets, it could provide a serious shot in the arm for quantum computer research as a whole.
Google launched its Quantum A.I. Lab last year to test a machine called the D-Wave Two, an intriguing but controversial system that its makers bill as a quantum computer, and it believes quantum computing could play a key role in so many of its future ambitions, from self-driving cars and other robots to better predictive analytics systems for products like Google Now to things we haven't even dreamed up yet.