The new field of quantum error correction has developed spectacularly since its origin less than two years ago. Encoded quantum information can be protected from errors that arise due to uncontrolled interactions with the environment. Recovery from errors can work effectively even if occasional mistakes occur during the recovery procedure. Furthermore, encoded quantum information can be processed without serious propagation of errors. Hence, an arbitrarily long quantum computation can be performed reliably, provided that the average probability of error per quantum gate is less than a certain critical value, the accuracy threshold. A quantum computer storing about 106 qubits, with a probability of error per quantum gate of order 10–6, would be a formidable factoring engine. Even a smaller less–accurate quantum computer would be able to perform many useful tasks. This paper is based on a talk presented at the ITP Conference on Quantum Coherence and Decoherence, 15 to 18 December 1996.