Physicist John Preskill examines the near-term future of quantum computation in this very readable paper. What types of quantum computers are we likely to see in the next 5 or 10 years, and what will they be able to do? What are their limitations, and how do researchers expect to overcome them?
"Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) technology will be available in the near future. Quantum computers with[masked] qubits may be able to perform tasks which surpass the capabilities of today's classical digital computers, but noise in quantum gates will limit the size of quantum circuits that can be executed reliably. NISQ devices will be useful tools for exploring many-body quantum physics, and may have other useful applications, but the 100-qubit quantum computer will not change the world right away --- we should regard it as a significant step toward the more powerful quantum technologies of the future. Quantum technologists should continue to strive for more accurate quantum gates and, eventually, fully fault-tolerant quantum computing."
As always, please feel free to attend if the subject matter interests you, whether or not you read the paper ahead of time. Reading the paper in advance is helpful, but don't let it stop you from coming!