15 or 20 years ago, I was saying that because quantum computers perform multiple calculations on similar inputs simultaneously, they'll be perfect for the sorts of pattern recognition tasks needed for (artificial) intelligence. And now these smart people have figured out how to do it for the first time, albeit with a miniscule 4 qubit quantum computer.
But since quantum computing capabilities scale according to 2^n, where n is the number of qubits, a 24 qubit computer (i.e. 6 times the size of what they just built, requiring a molecule with 24 atoms) would be 2^20 = 1 million times as powerful as this 4 qubit computer just demonstrated. A 64 qubit computer would be 10^18 = 1 million million million times as powerful as this 4 qubit computer. Good-bye conventional computer encryption. And hello general-purpose pattern-recognition (i.e. the basis for strong artificial intelligence).
My first thought was that a vat of "carbon-13-iodotrifluroethylene" isn't exactly a general purpose computing device -- except that because their control inputs are a stream of radio waves pulses controlled by a conventional computer, it actually is a general purpose computer. And though I'm no quantum physicist / quantum computer scientist, it seems like it would scale reasonably easily: you just need to find larger organic molecules with similarly discrete nuclear magnetic resonance 'channels' (i.e. independently manipulable/separable by frequency).
I am beginning to sense the coming Kurzweil Singularity...