13 votes

Scott’s Supreme Quantum Supremacy FAQ!

7 comments

  1. Elronnd
    Link
    Follow up to this. Exciting stuff!

    Follow up to this. Exciting stuff!

    4 votes
  2. [2]
    vakieh
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    Fuck this style of thinking. People are allowed to be wrong, and should be allowed the option to admit they were wrong without needing to be raked over the coals for the oh so egregious offence....

    Q14. If quantum supremacy was achieved, what would it mean for the QC skeptics?

    I wouldn’t want to be them right now! They could retreat to the position that of course quantum supremacy is possible (who ever claimed that it wasn’t? surely not them!), that the real issue has always been quantum error-correction. And indeed, some of them have consistently maintained that position all along. But others, including my good friend Gil Kalai, are on record, right here on this blog predicting that even quantum supremacy can never be achieved for fundamental reasons. I won’t let them wiggle out of it now.

    Fuck this style of thinking. People are allowed to be wrong, and should be allowed the option to admit they were wrong without needing to be raked over the coals for the oh so egregious offence. Ruins his entire (and otherwise well written) post IMO.

    3 votes
    1. imperialismus
      Link Parent
      I think that section was written with tongue firmly in cheek. If there’s any bitterness there, it’s not directed towards people who admit they were wrong, and certainly not toward everyone who’s...

      I think that section was written with tongue firmly in cheek.

      If there’s any bitterness there, it’s not directed towards people who admit they were wrong, and certainly not toward everyone who’s ever been wrong (which would include pretty much all scientists of any significance - you don’t advance science by always agreeing 100% with the current consensus, and that necessitates making speculative leaps that aren’t always 100% correct), but rather against the intellectual dishonesty of pretending you were right all along.

      I don’t think this little section ruins anything. It’s not intended to be some declaration of war. Take it for what it was surely intended as: at worst, a little friendly teasing. He even calls out a personal friend, who would surely know what tone was intended.

      10 votes
  3. MimicSquid
    (edited )
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    Also submitted here.

    Also submitted here.

    1 vote
  4. [3]
    Staross
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    Then we simply won't know if QS has been achieved (assuming results are otherwise solid).

    Q8. Is there a mathematical proof that no fast classical algorithm could possibly spoof the results of a sampling-based quantum supremacy experiment?

    Not at present.

    Then we simply won't know if QS has been achieved (assuming results are otherwise solid).

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Macil
      Link Parent
      It's rare for us to prove we know the best algorithm for something complicated. We don't even have proof that factorization can't be done efficiently by classical algorithms. By your standard, we...

      It's rare for us to prove we know the best algorithm for something complicated. We don't even have proof that factorization can't be done efficiently by classical algorithms. By your standard, we could have quantum computers actively breaking asymmetric cryptography and you'd be saying we haven't achieved QS. We wouldn't know it for sure, but we'd consider it very strong evidence.

      4 votes
      1. Staross
        Link Parent
        I don't think that would qualify as evidence at all. Having tried very hard to solve a problem and having failed to do so doesn't lower the probability that the problem is solvable. Likewise for...

        I don't think that would qualify as evidence at all. Having tried very hard to solve a problem and having failed to do so doesn't lower the probability that the problem is solvable. Likewise for having the intuition that it's unsolvable.

        Plus, if I remember correctly it's exactly how the D-Wave results got undermined; people found out an efficient classical algorithm for it.