The Google: We Are Supreme Because We Say So

October 23, 2019

The quantum supremacy PR stunt is aloft. Navigate to “What Our Quantum Computing Milestone Means.” The write up does not mention self-serving public relations. Nope. Here’s an example:

While we’re excited for what’s ahead, we are also very humbled by the journey it took to get here. And we’re mindful of the wisdom left to us by the great Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman: “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”

Aw, shucks. Google is just plain folk.

And the write up has a reminder to IBM, an outfit somewhat troubled by the supremacy thing:

As we scale up the computational possibilities, we unlock new computations. To demonstrate supremacy, our quantum machine successfully performed a test computation in just 200 seconds that would have taken the best known algorithms in the most powerful supercomputers thousands of years to accomplish. We are able to achieve these enormous speeds only because of the quality of control we have over the qubits. Quantum computers are prone to errors, yet our experiment showed the ability to perform a computation with few enough errors at a large enough scale to outperform a classical computer.

And Google sees an upside too:

Quantum computing will be a great complement to the work we do (and will continue to do) on classical computers. In many ways quantum brings computing full circle, giving us another way to speak the language of the universe and understand the world and humanity not just in 1s and 0s but in all of its states: beautiful, complex, and with limitless possibility.

Yep, our work. Let’s see. That includes:

  • Online advertising
  • Me too mobile phones
  • Hiring Microsoft executives
  • Implementing interesting management methods related to personnel- executive interaction
  • Employees sleeping in their vehicles.

Great stuff. Quantum PR.

Stephen E Arnold, October 23, 2019


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