Google: Good at Quantum and Maybe Better at Discarding Intra-Company Messages

February 28, 2023

Google has already declared quantum supremacy. The supremos have outsupremed themselves, if this story in the UK Independent is accurate:

Google Announces Major Breakthrough That Represents Significant Shift in Quantum Computers. Unprecedented Work Could Help Solve Error Problems That Plague Quantum Computers

Okay, supremacy but error problems. Supremacy but a significant shift. Then the word “plague.”

The write up states in what strikes me a Google PR recyclish way:

Google researchers say they have found a way of building the technology so that it corrects those errors. The company says it is a breakthrough on a par with its announcement three years ago that it had reached “quantum supremacy”, and represents a milestone on the way to the functional use of quantum computers.

The write up continues:

Dr Julian Kelly, director of quantum hardware at Google Quantum AI, said: “The engineering constraints (of building a quantum computer) certainly are feasible. “It’s a big challenge – it’s something that we have to work on, but by no means that blocks us from, for example, making a large-scale machine.”

What seems to be a similar challenge appears in “DOJ Seeks Court Sanctions against Google over Intentional Destruction of Chat Logs.” This write up is less of a rah rah for the quantum complexity crowd and more for a simpler problem: Retaining employee communications amidst the legal issues through which the Google is wading. The write up says:

Google should face court sanctions over “intentional and repeated destruction” of company chat logs that the US government expected to use in its antitrust case targeting Google’s search business, the Justice Department said Thursday [February 23, 2023]. Despite Google’s promises to preserve internal communications relevant to the suit, for years the company maintained a policy of deleting certain employee chats automatically after 24 hours, DOJ said in a filing in District of Columbia federal court. The practice has harmed the US government’s case against the tech giant, DOJ alleged.

That seems clear, certainly clearer than the assertions about 49 physical qubits and 17 physical qubits being equal to the quantum supremacy assertion several years ago.

How can one company be adept at manipulating qubits and mal-adept at saving chat messages? Wait! Wait!

Maybe Google is equally adept: Manipulating qubits and manipulating digital information.

Strike the quantum fluff and focus on the manipulating of information. Is that a breakthrough?

Stephen E Arnold, February 28, 2023


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