Sunday, June 10, 2018

Congress Democrats want to fund quantum computing

The quatum hype continues:

Quantum computing has made it to the United States Congress. "Quantum computing is the next technological frontier that will change the world, and we cannot afford to fall behind," said Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) in a statement passed to Gizmodo. "We must act now to address the challenges we face in the development of this technology -- our future depends on it." From the report:

The bill introduced by Harris in the Senate focuses on defense, calling for the creation of a consortium of researchers selected by the Chief of Naval Research and the Director of the Army Research Laboratory. The consortium would award grants, assist with research, and facilitate partnerships between the members. Another, yet-to-be-introduced bill, seen in draft form by Gizmodo, calls for a 10-year National Quantum Initiative Program to set goals and priorities for quantum computing in the US; invest in the technology; and partner with academia and industry. An office within the Department of Energy would coordinate the program. Another group would include members from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, the office of the Director of National Intelligence to coordinate research and education activity between agencies. Furthermore, the draft bill calls for the establishment of up to five Quantum Information Science research centers, as well as two multidisciplinary National Centers for Quantum Research and Education.
According to some big-money Democrat donors, Harris is their best hope for winning the USA Presidency in 2020. Her father is Jamaican and her mother east Indian, so they think that she will play well to current Democrat identity politics, where white males are despised. She has been successful in California politics, but would be considered a leftist kook in much of the rest of the USA.

Here are some comments:
Sure, nobody could so far put up any evidence that Quantum Computing will ever be able to be more efficient than conventional computing, but hey, let's allocate billions to the belief in the hype.
AFAIK, your post is complete nonsense. It is perfectly well known for which tasks quantum computing will be more efficient than conventional computing and how many functioning Qbits you need (with given error rates). Note that the computational power does not increase linearly when doubling qbits. Apart from the tasks that we know can be solved, there is an ever expanding list of research results of more tasks that quantum computers are suitable for. You have to think of a quantum computer like a giant and fragile (unfortunately) co-processor that is insanely fast for certain tasks, not as a replacement for conventional computers.
But as the poster you rudely accused of posting nonsense wrote, it's never been demonstrated.

There are legitimate reasons to think it will never happen: Noise, cost scaling of maintaining low entropy space, incompatibility between quantum error correction on qbits and doing logic on those qbits.

I'm a sceptic. I don't expect to see the ECDLP for deployed key sizes solved by quantum computers, ever.
I agree with that last comment.

The physics community is much too corrupt to point out that the Harris bill is a big waste of money.


  1. Supercomputers are a waste of money in general. Show me any major breakthroughs that relied on them. We can't even get any productivity growth from technology investment in general. Republicans fund just as much of this garbage through defense and Rick Perry was just praising supercomputing. DARPA couldn't even design network protocols right.

    UNIVAC I (1951) - .002 MIPS
    IBM 7030 "Stretch" (1961)- 1.200 MIPS
    CDC 6600 (1965) - 10 MIPS
    Intel 4004 (1971) - .092 MIPS
    Cray 1 (1975) - 160 MIPS
    Motorola 68000 (1979) - 1.4 MIPS
    Motorola 68020 (1988) - 10 MIPS
    Intel Pentium (1993) - 188 MIPS
    Intel Core i9 7980XE (2017) - Benchmark: 977.0 GFLOPS and 102,681 MIPS (7-Zip)
    Summit (2018) - 200 PFLOPS is

    The UNIVAC I was beat by the 4004 microprocessor in 20 years. The IBM 7030 was well ahead of its time, in terms of features, but was beat by a single cheap desktop processor in 18 years. The famous CDC 6600 was matched by a single desktop chip in 23 years. The Core i9 7980XE is 51,300,000 times faster than the UNIVAC and 10,268 times faster than the CDC 6600. This is leaving out the video cards. The Nvidia Titan V delivers 110 TeraFLOPS. The Summit is currently 204,710 times faster than one 7980XE but only 1,818 times faster than a single Titan V. These computers are not far from a box of video cards a generation away. These computers are just obscene wastes of money and power.

  2. There's a term that's used in relation to crypto-currency speculation which is also applicable to many other things, and that's "FOMO" - "Fear Of Missing Out". Some people pump money into things that they don't understand because they see other people getting into it and they fear that they will miss out on something big if they don't join in. Of course, it's always easier for politicians to succumb to FOMO because they can gamble with the taxpayers' money instead of their own. But it's the same mentality at work and there are many examples to be found in the rush to throw money at quantum computing.

    1. There really is nothing special about quantum computers getting funded. Science is a jobs program these days and it's a parasitic disease that affects the entire world. Hell, they even have people studying the octopus for decades. Did they ever find anything useful? Probably not but the "research" never ends.

      "In the US: Michelle Nishiguchi and Margaret McFall-Ngai both study symbiosis in the world's cutest squid; Roger Hanlon looks at deviant cephalopod behavior; Brad Seibel does X-TREME squid; David Scheel plays with the gentle giant pacific octopus; Roy Caldwell covers warm tropical cephalopods, and of course my own almus pater, Bill Gilly, focuses on Humboldt squid.

      Around the world: In Australia, Natalie Moltschaniwskyj researches the growth and ecology of modest-sized squid, while Steve O'Shea in New Zealand rummages around for very big squid. Spain's Ángel Guerra wrote a whole book about giant squid, and Japan's Tsunemi Kubodera took the first in situ video of the beast. Japan is also home to squid baby-maker Yasunori Sakurai. In Mexico, César Salinas-Zavala supervises all kinds of squid work and Unai Markaida crosses from coast to coast and from octopus to squid."

      "Science" is a jobs program for talentless losers, nerds and weirdos. They're mostly a group of fucking losers. They should be fixing my roof or picking up my trash. Candy asses living off the taxpayers...