Wednesday, February 12, 2020

More millions for quantum BS

The NY Times reports:
SAN FRANCISCO — White House officials on Monday unveiled plans to increase federal funding for the development of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, two cutting-edge technologies that defense officials say will play a key role in national security.

The funding, part of the Trump administration’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal, would direct more money for A.I. research to the Defense Department and the National Science Foundation. The administration also wants to spend $25 million on what it calls a national “quantum internet,” a network of machines designed to make it much harder to intercept digital communication.

For several years, technologists have urged the Trump administration to back research on artificial intelligence — which could affect things as diverse as weapons and transportation — and quantum computing, a new way to build super-powerful computers. China’s government, in particular, has made building these machines a priority, and some national security experts worry that the United States is at risk of falling behind.

The proposed spending follows earlier administration moves. In 2018, President Trump signed a law that earmarked $1.2 billion for quantum research. The Energy Department recently began distributing its portion of that money — about $625 million — to research labs in industry, academia and government.

“The dollars we have put into quantum information science have increased by about fivefold over the last three years,” said Paul Dabbar, under secretary for science at the Energy Department, in an interview.
I actually wish that this were legitimate. It would be an exciting area of cryptologic research, and open up a whole new arena for security analysis.

But it is all bogus. There is no practical value to a quantum internet.


  1. Dollars don't mean ideas. Otherwise, why should I be in loans, go jobless, and still have new ideas about making the deep learning more robust? practical ideas that deep pockets still haven't managed to reach despite the years of research in the past?


  2. Whenever I hear about another Star Trek plot device getting funded by the government, I cringe. The government is NOT a source of creativity, it is the primary food source of elitist rent seeking techno-babble mediocrity that seeks only two things, Power and Control, neither of which is conducive to understanding.

    Keep your fantasy and your science separate. It is OK to imagine things fantastically, but not when you are wearing your science pants. My mother taught this hard lesson to me in 1984 when I was first reading about Super String Theory and other multi-dimensional pap. She explained that conflating du jour methods of trendy calculation with reality is called hypostatization, it does not lead to understanding as much as self delusion, and that math does not inform what is, what is informs math... always.