Thursday, September 4, 2014

Google doing quantum chip

The quantum computer con continues. Yahoo reports:
Google said it is working on a super-fast "quantum" computer chip as part a vision to one day have machines think like humans.

The Internet titan on Tuesday added renowned researcher John Martinis and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the Quantum Artificial Intelligence team at Google, according to director of engineering Hartmut Neven.

The new hires are part of a "hardware initiative" to design and build chips operating on sub-atomic levels in ways making them exponentially faster than processors currently used in computers,

"With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs," Neven said of the quest for a transformative new chip.

Last year, Google's artificial intelligence lab partnered with US space agency NASA on quantum computing research.
I predict that 5 years from now, Google is still unable to show any quantum speedup, but the quantum computing enthusiasts are undeterred.

The FQXi August 31, 2014 Podcast has a part about the "Quantum Pigeonhole Principle". It is another little paradox showing that quantum particles cannot be treated as ordinary classical particles. But instead of admitting that there are no practical applications, the researcher went into a big story about how some Feynman comments led to quantum computers. Except that there are still no practical applications of quantum computers.

I posted on Sean M. Carroll's blog because he misquotes people he is attacking. He grudgingly corrected the Larry Summers quote, while denying that it makes any difference. The misquote is strange, because Carroll also attacks an article that explained how Summers has been misinterpreted. He also misquotes Nicholas Wade as saying “therefore Chinese people may be clever, but they’ll never really understand democracy.” I think it is a misquote, anyway. You would think that it if so important to denounce Summers and Wade, then Carroll would make some effort to accurately represent what they said.

Carroll also complains about someone losing a job for anti-Israel tweets. Apparently free speech for Israel attackers is a major dilemma for today's liberals. American professors are expected to take conventional liberal political positions. That is why Carroll is compelled to denounce Summers and Wade, even if it is a stupid straw man attack. Israel is trickier, because both sides are fighting for ethnic causes.

Update: Info about how the Palestinian Arab lost his job makes one wonder how he was ever offered the job. He has a long history of anti-Israel writings, and very little worthwhile academic scholarship:
The first thing one learns about Salaita is that very little of what he has written seems to have anything to do with the field of study in which he claims expertise and in which he was offered a job, American Indian Studies.

Update: Scott Aaronson is excited about the Google quantum computer, and wants to be able to claim that he correctly predicted the outcome whether it works or not.

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