Stephen E. Arnold: Quantum Hype, Quantum Issues with Comment by William Binney

Commerce, Ineptitude, IO Impotency, Media
Stephen E. Arnold

THE HYPE: Tomorrow’s Quantum Computers Are Already Threatening Today’s Data (DefenseOne)

MY COMMENTS: Quantum computing is an active research field. Physicists, electrical engineers, programmers, venture capital firms, and manufacturers of exotic instruments are wetting their pants for the next big thing in computing. When money is at stake or available, hyperbole is a “quantum” side effect. The collateral damage is clear thinking.

Progress is being made. However, the marketing seems to outpace the engineering reality. Not new, but it is useful to keep this characteristic in mind.

Issues that will require years to resolve:

1. Writing user friendly software which does not require computer scientists to create new code for most tasks

2. Applications which can deliver useful results from the probability-centric quantum methods in demonstrations today

3. Practical explanations of the costs, engineering requirements, physical environment for the devices, and what outputs can be obtained from systems; for example, IBM's “demo” quantum system.

My hunch is that the quantum computing cheer-leading will ebb and flow. Figuring out how to deal with touchy, complex, expensive, and unstable systems will take time.

WILLIAM BINNEY: When it comes to Quantum computers, believe it when you see it. There are still a lot of problems to overcome to achieve larger scale Quantum computing. Bottom line, it all depends on the software in use. If you take legacy software that produces crap and put it in a Quantum computer, you get quantum crap — and a hell of a lot faster.

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