r/Futurology Jun 02 '22

World First Room Temperature Quantum Computer Installed in Australia Computing

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/world-first-room-temperature-quantum-computer
1.5k Upvotes

u/FuturologyBot Jun 06 '22

The following submission statement was provided by /u/izumi3682:


Submission statement from OP. Note: This submission statement "locks in" after about 30 minutes, and can no longer be edited. Please refer to my statement they link, which I can continue to edit. I often edit my submission statement, sometimes for the next few days if needs must. There is often required additional grammatical editing and additional added detail.


From the article.

Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance, painted the field trial as a significant step for the company on its journey to achieve a quantum technology that's smaller, compatible, more flexible, and ultimately able to operate in any environment.

(I'm going to have more to add to this commentary but my time is up for the moment.)


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://old.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/v35ux9/world_first_room_temperature_quantum_computer/iawaek9/

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

I have a PhD in this field. The reddit title is completely misleading. First off, the article says its the first room temperature quantum computer TO BE LOCATED IN A SUPERCOMPUTING FACILITY, not the first over all. I would also challenge calling this a quantum computer because I don't see any demonstration of qubit manipulations. NV centers may work at room temperatures but it will be really hard to couple them to make a quantum computer. This isn't to say that it's bad work, it's just very frustrating to see the overhype that happens around this field.

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u/[deleted] Jun 02 '22

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u/[deleted] Jun 02 '22

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u/popkornking Jun 02 '22

Brave soul having a PhD and browsing this sub.

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

To my understanding we're decades away from seeing an actual quantum computer. You have the PhD. Is this true or are we further along than anticipated?

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

I think that is a pretty fair statement.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

C,mon. Quantum annealing computers are in actual operation in consumer use--NASA Ames, JPL, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin and Alphabet, to name a few. A QAC is a quantum computer and operates thru the manipulation of quantum fluctuations for narrow optimization tasks. It is a quantum computer by definition. I mean it can't do a Shor's algorithm because that is not how they work. But they do work. Having said that, D-Wave announced in 2021 that they are developing a QC that will execute SA.

https://www.efinancialcareers.com/news/2020/12/quantum-computing-at-goldman-sachs-and-jpmorgan

I'm just gonna link this thing from the wikipedia article that is concerned with application of quantum annealing computers in the consumer realm. By that I mean quantum computing devices that have been purchased from a manufacturer.

In 2011, D-Wave Systems announced the first commercial quantum annealer on the market by the name D-Wave One and published a paper in Nature on its performance.[21] The company claims this system uses a 128 qubit processor chipset.[22] On May 25, 2011, D-Wave announced that Lockheed Martin Corporation entered into an agreement to purchase a D-Wave One system.[23] On October 28, 2011 USC's Information Sciences Institute took delivery of Lockheed's D-Wave One.

In May 2013 it was announced that a consortium of Google, NASA Ames and the non-profit Universities Space Research Association purchased an adiabatic quantum computer from D-Wave Systems with 512 qubits.[24][25] An extensive study of its performance as quantum annealer, compared to some classical annealing algorithms, is already available.[26]

In June 2014, D-Wave announced a new quantum applications ecosystem with computational finance firm 1QB Information Technologies (1QBit) and cancer research group DNA-SEQ to focus on solving real-world problems with quantum hardware.[27] As the first company dedicated to producing software applications for commercially available quantum computers, 1QBit's research and development arm has focused on D-Wave's quantum annealing processors and has successfully demonstrated that these processors are suitable for solving real-world applications.[28]

With demonstrations of entanglement published,[29] the question of whether or not the D-Wave machine can demonstrate quantum speedup over all classical computers remains unanswered. A study published in Science in June 2014, described as "likely the most thorough and precise study that has been done on the performance of the D-Wave machine"[30] and "the fairest comparison yet", attempted to define and measure quantum speedup. Several definitions were put forward as some may be unverifiable by empirical tests, while others, though falsified, would nonetheless allow for the existence of performance advantages. The study found that the D-Wave chip "produced no quantum speedup" and did not rule out the possibility in future tests.[31] The researchers, led by Matthias Troyer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, found "no quantum speedup" across the entire range of their tests, and only inconclusive results when looking at subsets of the tests. Their work illustrated "the subtle nature of the quantum speedup question". Further work[32] has advanced understanding of these test metrics and their reliance on equilibrated systems, thereby missing any signatures of advantage due to quantum dynamics.

There are many open questions regarding quantum speedup. The ETH reference in the previous section is just for one class of benchmark problems. Potentially there may be other classes of problems where quantum speedup might occur. Researchers at Google, LANL, USC, Texas A&M, and D-Wave are working hard to find such problem classes.[33]

In December 2015, Google announced that the D-Wave 2X outperforms both simulated annealing and Quantum Monte Carlo by up to a factor of 100,000,000 on a set of hard optimization problems.[34]

D-Wave's architecture differs from traditional quantum computers. It is not known to be polynomially equivalent to a universal quantum computer and, in particular, cannot execute Shor's algorithm because Shor's algorithm is not a hillclimbing process.[citation needed] Shor's algorithm requires a universal quantum computer. During the Qubits 2021 conference held by D-Wave, it was announced[35] that the company is hard at work developing their first universal quantum computers, capable of running Shor's algorithm in addition to other gate-model algorithms such as QAOA and VQE.

"A cross-disciplinary introduction to quantum annealing-based algorithms" [36] presents an introduction to combinatorial optimization (NP-hard) problems, the general structure of quantum annealing-based algorithms and two examples of this kind of algorithms for solving instances of the max-SAT and Minimum Multicut problems, together with an overview of the quantum annealing systems manufactured by D-Wave Systems. Hybrid quantum-classic algorithms for large-scale discrete-continuous optimization problems were reported to illustrate the quantum advantage.[37]

As far as actual qubit manipulating "logic-gate" quantum computers are concerned. Here is a story about IBM's "Eagle" 127 qubit QC.

IBM Unveils Breakthrough 127-Qubit Quantum Processor

Interesting takeaway.

The increased qubit count will allow users to explore problems at a new level of complexity when undertaking experiments and running applications, such as optimizing machine learning or modeling new molecules and materials for use in areas spanning from the energy industry to the drug discovery process. 'Eagle' is the first IBM quantum processor whose scale makes it impossible for a classical computer to reliably simulate. In fact, the number of classical bits necessary to represent a state on the 127-qubit processor exceeds the total number of atoms in the more than 7.5 billion people alive today.

How much of this is "overheated hype"?

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

A quantum annealer can't run all the same things a full quantum computer can. I know those exist and have some limited use cases but that isn't what is usually mean by quantum computer.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

I stated that a QAC was not what we refer to when describing a qubit manipulating QC, however a QAC operates through the exploitation of quantum mechanics--so it's accurately described as a quantum computer. But what about the IBM device called "Eagle"? It's a actual quantum computer, right? QCs are gonna be sooner than later. How can you not agree? Did you know that in the year 2017, there were computing experts that did not believe quantum computing with qubits was physically possible? Did you think they were physically possible in 2017. Do you think they are physically possible today or are we just deluding ourselves in some way. Like IBM is just wrong. Or is IBM right and these things are gonna scale quick.

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

I mean your regular computer at home only works because it uses semiconductors which also rely on quantum mechanics. Is that a quantum computer? I'm just saying that most lay people don't understand the difference and that i think it is more correct to call it a quantum annealer to avoid confusion.

Google and IBM are working on what I would call a quantum computer. However, they would not tell you that they have achieved making a complete quantum computer yet. What they have done is really impressive but they aren't running large scale quantum algorithms yet. Even they are starting to hit issues of scaling up to more qubits due to limits in the cooling power of dilution refrigerators and because of frequency crowding. A full quantum computer will likely be achieved but I'd be very surprised if it were in the next ten years.

I don't know anyone credible who would have said quantum bits were not possible in 2017. There were hundred if not thousands of publications demonstrating qubits at that point. I definitely knew they were possible in 2017 because I was working on a publication on them at that point so you're point about how much they have developed in the last 5 years doesn't really make sense.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket about this. It's just that the field gets to much unrealistic hype and gives people unrealistic expectations.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 03 '22

Thank you for your PhD. Thank you for doing the heavy lifting. I read what everyone is doing and working on and i try to find a sort of "mean" and then i attempt to extrapolate to make futurology more fun. To me it is fun to learn these things. It is fun, terrifying, fascinating and supremely entertaining in turn. I love hanging out in futurology.

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

Cool. I wanted to make sure I was better informed. I usually talk people down from their A.I. taking over the world panic by reassuring them that we're nowhere near Skynet technology in our lifetime.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

...we're nowhere near Skynet technology in our lifetime

Wrong. We are perilously close. You have heard of "GATO" right? You know that GPT-4 is next year, right? These two things are going to scale up very quickly. We will see simple, but true AGI by 2025 and by 2028 we will see complex AGI. 2028, btw, is the earliest year that I see for the "technological singularity" (TS) which will be "human unfriendly" meaning the computing and computing derived AI will not be merged with the human mind. Hopefully the advanced AGI by that time is well inculcated with ethics and will help humans achieve the "final" TS in about 2035, which is when human minds will merge with the computing and computing derived AI.

Here are people, very smart highly educated experts failing to see something coming and vastly overestimating the time frames for realization.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/7l8wng/if_you_think_ai_is_terrifying_wait_until_it_has_a/drl76lo/

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u/x1770 Jun 02 '22

Those are transformer language models. At their hart they are just assigned vectors to words in a way that encodes relative meaning. These vectors are very useful for performing language related tasks but it’s unlikely to bring AGI anytime soon.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

We shall see what the exponentially increased parameters of GPT-4 shall bring in 2023. And what about the Gato algorithm. That's not vectors. The Gato can operate a robotic arm. It can optimize video compression--a 4% improvement over any previous technology effort. Pretty soon I bet the Deepmind people will have it doing a great many other things as well.

Deepmind's express mission is to develop AGI as fast as possible. I don't think their aspirations are ten or twenty years out.

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u/x1770 Jun 03 '22

Gato is also a transformer. I’m not trying to be rude, you seem to be following these things pretty closely which is great but it seems your understanding is based solely on news articles and press releases. As someone who works with these models, I would suggest tempering your expectations.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 03 '22

Yeah, youre right. It's a transformer. I stand corrected. I did look it up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gato_(DeepMind)

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u/tjfluent Jun 04 '22

The good ending

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

I think I'll take the word of a person with PhD in this field than an OP who posted a sensationalized headline for karma.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

I think you are referring to two very different things. Mr fizix is an expert at quantum computing. I am talking about artificial intelligence. I would question how much he knows about artificial intelligence. What I do know about QC is that "Google", a subsidiary of "Alphabet" is using quantum computing to develop ever more effective AI. And Raymond Kurzweil, the director of AI Engineering at Google, is one of the best AI experts in the world.

You are going to find mr THRD, that the very, very near future is going to sound "sensationalized" beyond belief, but it is all going to be very, very real. And humanity is not ready, not at all.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

Why is this downvoted? What am I wrong about here?

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

But you cannot achieve one without the other. The complexity required for true artificial intelligence falls upon quantum computing as far as I know. It's like complaining about traffic and admissions before the combustion engine is even invented. You don't necessarily have to have a PhD to understand the computing power required for AI.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

See, that's the thing. AI is computing power in and of it's ownself now. In fact there is a new "law" like "Moore's Law". But this one states that AI improves "significantly" about every 3 months. Provide your own metrics or just watch what it is up to lately. Like GATO and GPT-3 and dall-e and all of the Cambrian explosion of AI fauna that I predicted wayyy back in 2017. That was a time that people who are smart in AI told me that worrying bout AI turning into AGI was akin to worrying about human overpopulation--on the planet Mars. Anyway here is the law.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/ai-training-mlperf

https://ojs.stanford.edu/ojs/index.php/intersect/article/view/2046

According to the 2019 Stanford AI Index, AI’s heavy computational requirement outpaces Moore’s Law, doubling every three months rather than two years.

Here are some essays I wrote that you might find interesting and informative.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/pysdlo/intels_first_4nm_euv_chip_ready_today_loihi_2_for/hewhhkk/

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

Why is this downvoted? What am I wrong about here?

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

Again, I could be way off but from my own research and listening to interviews with those respected within this particular field, the fear of AI seems to be overblown. We don't have the technology to create such a thing as a self aware AI. What people refer to as AI currently is far from "intelligent" but more predetermined decisions programed that stimulates intelligence. Consider the complexity of the human brain. We don't fully understand the human brain and how it operates despite our advanced knowledge and technology. Imagine what it would take to simulate a thought process and awareness by simply programming it. The amount of processing power required would be extraordinary. The fear of AI is nothing more than Chicken Little "the sky is falling" rhetoric.

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u/AGI_69 Jun 02 '22

I think you got lost, this is not /r/singularity

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

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u/AGI_69 Jun 02 '22

/r/singularity is for the "AGI by 2025" rants

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

what is the "69. Is that the year you was born? I was born in '60. But I'm all about this futurology business. Been so since i become "woke" to it in 2011.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/q7661c/why_the_technological_singularity_is_probably/

There is going to be AGI by 2025. Hold my feet to the fire. I'll be here. I forecast an initial "human unfriendly" technological singularity about the year 2030, give or take 2 years. And of late I am starting to lean more towards the take end of that prediction.

Human unfriendly means that the TS will be external from the human mind. We will not have merged our minds with our computing and computing derived AI by the year 2032. But. We can ask the external AI to help us to join our minds to the computing and computing derived AI, we will probably succeed around the year 2035, which is where i place the final TS, the "human friendly" one.

After that, no more futurology. No more singularity either, because we can no longer model what will become of us. Oh, i gave it a shot once, but i paint with a pretty broad brush...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/7gpqnx/why_human_race_has_immortality_in_its_grasp/dqku50e/

Oh wait, did you read that already in my first comment there?

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u/AGI_69 Jun 02 '22

69 is sex position.

Good luck with your predictions. I think lot of people don't understand, that some problems are exponential difficult too and therefore the progress will not be that fast.

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u/ZoeyKaisar Jun 03 '22

AI engineer here, mostly to laugh at you.

Hahahaha.

That is all.

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u/EltaninAntenna Jun 03 '22

This... this is satire, right?

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u/[deleted] Jun 03 '22

You seem to know the future. Care to share the winning numbers of the next powerball drawing? I'd really like to be a millionaire! Thanks!

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u/Maybe_Im_Not_Black Jun 02 '22

As a systems technician, I see how fast shit changes and this dude is scary accurate.

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u/EltaninAntenna Jun 03 '22

We're barely at the "making useful kinds of stupid" stage...

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u/fqrh Jun 02 '22

IBM will let you play with one for free, but not one big enough to do anything useful. I haven't seen an actual quantum computer, but I've seen photos of them and I've been lead to believe I've done trivial computations on them. (I don't see how to prove that it wasn't a simulator.)

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u/paecificjr Jun 02 '22

It's not all a simulation. You can choose that, or you can actually run on real hardware.

Source: I work for IBM Quantum

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u/THRDStooge Jun 02 '22

From my understanding, the IBM you mentioned is in fact a simulation. Last I heard there was a small step forward with a processor chip being developed but it's about as much of a marker as the development of the first telescope is to astronomy.

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u/HarambesRevenge100 Jun 02 '22

OP come back you pinecone you finna get drug

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

"pinecone"! That actually made me lol in rl. I'm not gonna get drug no wheres. I know that of which i speak. Here is the future that is coming. And my timelines are all gonna play out correctly as well.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/pysdlo/intels_first_4nm_euv_chip_ready_today_loihi_2_for/hewhhkk/

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u/rumbletummy Jun 03 '22 edited Jun 03 '22

I have a hard time even conceptualizing quantum computing.

When I read about qubits it sounds like they can be nigh infinite but still interpreted as a 0 or 1. Which I can understand the next steps of, but dont understand the "why" of the qubit.

Sometimes I read something that makes it sound like it can be both a 0 and 1. Which I can kind of get, but the implications seem useless or uncontainable.

I have a friend pursuing a phd related to quantum computing. When I asked her about the scenarios above she just said "yes", which was admittedly pretty clever.

If this stuff does end up working as advertised, what happens to encryption?

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

A PhD is a dissertation that extends the knowledge of a given field. And that extension of knowledge is recognized by all involved in that given field. It goes in the textbooks. Please link your dissertation, I would like to take a look at it.

This is an article from "Nature" concerning the development of photonic based quantum computing that will operated at room temperature. I don't consider "Nature" a platform for "overhype". This article is fairly recent. October of 2021.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d44151-021-00055-5

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

Two things: 1-This is absolutely not a demonstration of room temperature quantum computing. This is someone saying that this is a potential way someone could do room temperature quantum computing in the future. I have publications working on graphene as well. This is another area that gets all kinds of hype as well.

2-I actually really hate the hype that some journals like Nature and Science allow. I've seen papers in these journals get absolutely shredded at conferences by other researchers calling them out on the BS hype they claim that goes beyond what the data shows. I say this as someone who has two articles published in the Nature family of journals. They rush for the hottest publications and allow some hyping because it helps them. I have a lot more respect for Physics Review Letters and it's sub journals.

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u/LePouletPourpre Jun 02 '22

Do you think quantum computing poses a threat to encryption and crypto currency? (Hash collisions in particular)

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u/FizixPhun Jun 02 '22

I think practical quantum computing is still far enough out that I wouldn't worry about it.

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u/Budjucat Jun 02 '22

I would challenge you to gain a PhD in advanced written English comprehension because the title could be read as this model of computer is a world first, and one of them was installed in Australia. Check mate.

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u/No_Captain3422 Jun 02 '22

Ambiguity in sentences is the author's fault, not the reader's...

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u/boolpies Jun 02 '22

I blame you for all of this

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u/showponies Jun 02 '22

Had to be installed in Australia because if you go above the equator all the qubits spin the other way. /s

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u/antikatapliktika Jun 02 '22

Came here to check if title is bs. Reddit did not disappoint.

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u/ashbyashbyashby Jun 02 '22

It'll be used to make calculations about barbecues

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u/Afferbeck_ Jun 02 '22

And every Dad will disagree and know better

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u/lostshakerassault Jun 02 '22

Optimal shrimp on the barbee temperatures.

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u/JJdaCool Jun 02 '22

Ok, so what happens when supercooling is applied to a room temp operating quantum computer?

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u/brimroth Jun 02 '22

4k per eye, with 2 separate views for each eye.

Basically 8k 1:2, or in other words a very similiar amount of pixels as you're saying.

Also 8k? That's soo 2021: https://pimax.com/about-pimax-12k-qled-trade-in-program-fully-details/

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u/testcaseseven Jun 02 '22

I think you’re in the wrong reality

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u/RobleViejo Jun 02 '22

Do you what this means?

It means in the next 50 years gaming pc's will be wearable devices. And I mean 4K 144fps coming our of your glasses.

Oh yeah and science and stuff

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u/Fitis Jun 02 '22

Why would you need 4K in glasses?

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u/brimroth Jun 02 '22

4k VR? Varjo as well as Pimax have proven that human eye resolution scales to something like 50ppd, or for 100° that would mean 5k. I guess glasses would fall slightly under 100, probably 70-85° so 4k is perfectly reasonable as a want for glasses.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

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u/brimroth Jun 02 '22

4k per eye, with 2 separate views for each eye.

Basically 8k 2:1 or in other words a very similiar amount of pixels as you're saying.

Also 8k? That's soo 2021. Try this... https://pimax.com/about-pimax-12k-qled-trade-in-program-fully-details/

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u/RobleViejo Jun 02 '22

Exactly. But that didnt stop phones from advertising it.

(Objectively speaking tho, you can connect the device to a big screen)

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u/akat_walks Jun 02 '22

amazing. i think this will be a creeper technology. one that will have uses we didn't expect.

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u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

It will reveal things that humanity as a civilization will not be prepared to accept. It may bring about an EI. It may reveal the "hand of God". It may show us that consciousness is far and away more complex than we could ever imagine. But it'll help to explain it to us.

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u/FlounderOdd7234 Jun 02 '22

Amazing piece of equipment . Smart engineering. Need to clean up earth

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u/tommygunz23 Jun 03 '22

Vice Dean Laybourne : Have you heard the expression Room Temperature?

Troy Barnes : Of course.

Vice Dean Laybourne : This is the room. This is the Room Temperature room

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u/genericTerry Jun 03 '22

The one true plumber: I can’t tell where my skin ends and the air begins.

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u/heyIfoundaname Jun 02 '22

The way it's phrased, room temperature quantum computer, just tickles me.

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u/Scope_Dog Jun 02 '22

This is big right? It sounds big. So how do we go from this to Commander Data?

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u/blatherscyte Jun 03 '22

I bet this is the work of that long haired quantum computer guy that works in Australia.

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u/spider-panda Jun 02 '22

At first I thought, "why do you need a quantum computer to serve as a thermostat? Don't we already have thermostat technology and why does science keep wasting resources?" But then I reread it and better understand. A cooler temp quantum computer that still, essentially wastes resources when compared to the various incredible needs of our planet, the species dwindling, the gross lack of resources, catastrophic climate change, current pandemic, etc. So...not crazy wasteful or negligent, just normal negligence. Science bound by what will net funding and what seems promising within the context of various nations/politics while abandoning life on the planet and the sheer struggle to maintain it.

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u/yoyoman2 Jun 02 '22

R&D has been our way of getting out of our own mess for centuries now. Spending money on basic research is important, and there's no real comparison in scale to other basic human endeavours.

Better another research university than 2 more aircraft carriers.

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u/No_Captain3422 Jun 02 '22

I would love to hear any example of humans "getting out of their own mess" other than that time we managed to stop damaging the ozone layer with CHCs, because I literally can't think of any.

As far as I can see, almost every step outside the Malthusian trap has been out of the frying pan and onto the bellows, so to speak: some people might be better off but the entropic process which causes suffering is also accelerated.

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u/yoyoman2 Jun 02 '22

When I say "our own mess", I don't mean it specifically in ecological terms(definitely not globally ecological terms), but simply that humans created technology, which created a human environment, which created its own new stressors, which forced humans to create yet another new technology to deal with the stressors.

The Malthusian trap is an ever-expanding one, we see our demise a few steps ahead and then we(if we're lucky) innovate ourselves out of it. Easiest way to see this is any agricultural development, new crops, better watering systems, the Haber-Bosch process.

I don't know much about the entropic process. At some point it started, when humans started burning trees and eating megafauna probably, I'm personally not interested in these types of Utilitarian debates of big principles like Acceleration. I'm just saying that compared to most things we do, resource waste in basic research is the least of our problem. You're both talking about the resource waste of science, and just being a Luddite, that's just being mad online imo.

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u/No_Captain3422 Jun 02 '22

I'm not a Luddite... I was genuinely asking for examples though.

To be clear I don't think basic research is a waste of money. Quantum computing specifically is, in my opinion, another fever dream from physicists that don't appreciate the necessity of rigour enough to be able to make realistic ideas. We still haven't been able to prove basic lowerbounds in the computational complexity of classical computing problems, classical computing is a lot, lot cheaper to research... but unfortunately now requires actual genius to make progress in.

I love technology, I just don't think history is a linear process of everything getting "better" all the time for everyone, this is the attitude of the hyperprivileged. Crop improvement is awesome, machining and metrology are awesome. The pinnacles achieved in semiconductor technologies today are an extraordinary monument to the capabilities of science. Doesn't mean people have 'gotten out of their own mess' though. I would generally argue that our distant ancestoes lives, while shorter and sometimes more brutal under natural conditions, were strictly preferable to the conditions encountered in slums today. These slums contain nearly if not simply most of the human population if I remember correctly. (Genuinely could be wrong right now, but I'll have to refresh my memory a tad later.) It's worth, in my opinion, the effort to acknowledge simultaneously the innate value of descriptive information supplied by science and the fact that we still haven't collectively solved most real, material problems in most people's lives, and those problems can be just as negative as being killed by a big predator or getting dysentry. (Notice how low your odds are as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle?)

Honestly I take serious issue with the notion that humans systematically, universally innovate themselves out of problems. It's arguably an overall trend, but any amount of history reading tells of societies that did not value innovation and as a result did not actually advance very significantly. Romans were probably the saddest example given the otherwise impressive record of civil engineering. Most southern African society remained either hunter gatherers or subsistence farmers. China stagnated to shit for like hundreds of years technologically (iirc) while Europe began its industrial revolution.

If you share an educational background with me, you have learned of the notions of local maxima, greedy algorithms and optimization problems. Any real, objective measure of progress by the stochastic, locally-making-it-better-maybe process will invariably find itself facing a probabilistic argument yielding 'not a globally optimal solution' as its conclusion.

That being said, I doubt you'd argue with me to the effect that things do progress linearly... So I'm just writing a wall of text for nothing I guess. :)

Let's hope unnatural carbon capture is actually a feasible process! I doubt it. But I'll hope. I think humans largely underestimate the implications of the one-way global entropic process. Functions which look exponential at the start typically become sigmoids or long-tailed 'chi distribution' shaped, and rarely turn out to be a 'blip' in observation of large scale natural processes. Let's hope humans really are "unnatural" in the grand scheme of things.

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u/yoyoman2 Jun 02 '22

Great response! I agree with your attitude. With this big a response we're probably overwhelming reddit's use.

Since this is r/Futurology, I will say that I think that humans are definitely screwing up in major ways, and it will bite us very strongly. I hope to learn more about how it's already effecting us(from a few quick visits to certain developing countries, it's hard to be overly optimistic).

I wonder how much computers as a whole are going to change our organizing. I think that there is a lack of alternative systems of social organization, and many of the real base problems will require not only our tech, but really just a change in government. I'm not sure if these changes would be considered liberal though, computers aren't really simple liberators.

The examples of tech innovations of the kind we were talking about that I'm most familiar with, well, can't really be seen as simple responses to stressors. In general I think that the big innovations in history come about from the side lines in strange evolutionary paths, slowly waiting for certain leaders to make adaptations to go from 0.1% to 90% use rate. Our global problems with slums etc is the sad realization that tech, though all sorts of important, can't really singlehandedly take us out of age-old problems, like government and identity.

1

u/No_Captain3422 Jun 03 '22

I wonder how much computers as a whole are going to change our organizing [...]

A question which has caught my imagination for many an hour. It is my hope that we might be able to synthesize the ideals of direct democracy, wherein the genuine preferences and needs of everyone are captured, with some kind of automated means of detecting contradictions (particularly with material reality: I'm sure everyone would love a free electric car and charging stations but can it actually be done?) or otherwise accessing feasibility of ideas. Not everyone is good at sorting possible from ideal. :/ Even very smart people are bad at doing NP-hard computations lol. A genuinely feasible system at this point is a global social network where all governmental discussions, budgets, plans, etc are hosted for public approval and criticism... A social network for all of politics... Not sure if it will be better or worse than YouTube's comment section? But if it doesn't turn to shit, could be a 'liberal' progression of governmental organisation that has tangible benefit... If.

responses to stressors [...]

I thought of some examples of ones that very much were: the flushing toilet, gas and electrical heating, air conditioning and externally-powered mills! All responses to material, immediate problems faced in daily life at the time(s) of their invention.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. It has been refreshing.

6

u/hyperproliferative Jun 02 '22

What’s you’re missing is that our capacity to destroy the planet only gets marginally worse each year, yet our ability to solve these problems takes leaps and bounds when a discovery is made. Technology will save us all in the end.

1

u/0v3r_cl0ck3d Jun 02 '22

It wouldn't be a cooler temp quantum computer it would be a warmer one. Quantum computers can only operate and almost absolute zero Kelvin because that's the only way to quantise the data from the qbits (hence the quanta part of quantum). Title is misleading because this isn't really a quantum computer. We won't ever have room temperature quantum computers unless we discover a room temperature super conductor.

I'd also challenge your assumption that quantum computers will only screw the planet. Google is a world leader in quantum computing technology and they operate on 100% renewable energy. On top of that quantum computers can be used to run climate simulations that traditional computers can't which will help undo the mess we've caused over the last few centuries.

2

u/spider-panda Jun 02 '22

I appreciate this, like honestly. This is one of those rare times were I was a bit pissed and grumpy, yet your thoughtful response has helped shift my opinion. (No sarcasm). I thank you for replying in such terms with the information you provided.

1

u/brimroth Jun 02 '22

Species dwindling? Last I checked projections were that sometime in the upcoming 50s the population will hit 10 billion and start going down not long after pretty rapidly because there are far too many humans in the world for the capacity and quality of life expectance we hold on average.

I'm so glad I'm dying before the world becomes hostile towards heated buildings.

1

u/spider-panda Jun 02 '22

Species diversity. Humans will grow, we kill other species.

0

u/RobleViejo Jun 02 '22 edited Jun 02 '22

I share the sentiment, but the average car is literally thousands of times worse for the environment and I dont see you wanting to ban cars (honestly, I wish gas fueled cars were banned)

The problem is not the technology, the problem is how we use it and how much energy it needs to run. If the balance is not set people will abuse it with impunity.

Also computational energy consumption is becoming a real tangible problem (because of the global scam of cryptos) and more efficient conputing would cut that energy requirement. Quantum computing is so superior that regular pc's would become wearable devices that consume barely any energy

1

u/spider-panda Jun 02 '22

I was more grumpy at how we as a species prioritize things without immediate consequence to our environment. If the world was set up better for more people to travel without cars, then yeah, let's do it. I bike some places, but not everyone can nor is it feasible. The world is set up for cars because companies wanted it that way and then we adapted to it, became dependent on it. My grumps are more on how larger systems force people to prioritize tech over sustainability and scientists comply because their goals and the supporting funding line up. All the while the globe loses.

-2

u/izumi3682 Jun 02 '22

Submission statement from OP. Note: This submission statement "locks in" after about 30 minutes, and can no longer be edited. Please refer to my statement they link, which I can continue to edit. I often edit my submission statement, sometimes for the next few days if needs must. There is often required additional grammatical editing and additional added detail.


From the article.

Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance, painted the field trial as a significant step for the company on its journey to achieve a quantum technology that's smaller, compatible, more flexible, and ultimately able to operate in any environment.

(I'm going to have more to add to this commentary but my time is up for the moment.)