Perhaps Someone Wants to Work at Google?

January 7, 2022

I read another quantum supremacy rah rah story. What’s quantum supremacy? IBM and others want it whatever it may be. “Google’s Time Crystals Could Be the Greatest Scientific Achievement of Our Lifetimes” slithers away from the genome thing, whatever the Nobel committee found interesting, and dark horses like the NSO Group’s innovation for seizing an iPhone user’s mobile device just by sending the target a message.

None of these is in the running. What we have it, according to The Next Web, is what may  be:

the world’s first time crystal inside a quantum computer.

Now the quantum computer is definitely a Gartner go-to technology magnet. Google is happy with DeepMind’s modest financial burn rate to reign supreme. The Next Web outfit is doing its part. Two questions?

What’s a quantum computer? A demo, something that DARPA finds worthy of supporting, or a financial opportunity for clever physicists and assorted engineers eager to become the Seymour Crays of 2022.

What’s a time crystal? Frankly I have no clue. Like some hip phrases — synaptic plasticity, phubbing, and vibrating carbon nanohorns, for instance — time crystal is definitely evocative. The write up says:

Time crystals don’t give a damn what Newton or anyone else thinks. They’re lawbreakers and heart takers. They can, theoretically, maintain entropy even when they’re used in a process.

The write up includes a number of disclaimers, but the purpose of the time crystal strikes me as part of the Google big PR picture. Whether time crystals are a thing like yeeting alphabet boys or hyperedge replacement graph grammars, the intriguing linkage of Google, quantum computing, and zippy time crystals further cements the idea that Google is a hot bed of scientific research, development, and innovation.

My thought is that Google is better at getting article writers to make their desire to work at Google evident. Google has not quite mastered the Timnit Gebru problem, however.

And are the Google results reproducible? Yeah, sure.

Stephen E Arnold, January 7, 2022


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