Google AI Blog: Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor

You've likely read about Google's quantum supremacy achievement in the mainstream press before now; the post made headlines and came out a month ago at this point. I wanted to take a second to digest this before sharing it to make sure that I had something to say.

The mainstream takes on this has been one of: "this is amazing" or "this is terrible" or "this is a non-event". My personal take is that 1) this is a Big Deal, but 2) it will take a Very Long Time before anyone reading these words will see a meaningful impact in the practice of their craft.

IMO, the best post on the topic is still from Scott Aaronson, and he favors the comparison to the first achieved human flight by the Wright brothers, sometime between 1903 and 1908. It has the same characteristics that I outline above: human flight was in fact a "big deal" and would change quite a lot about human civilization, but it also would take ~ 3-5 decades to impact the world in a major way. AI was similar: from the first simulation at IBM in the 50's to ImageNet was ~ 60 years.

This is a fascinating development in the history of computation, but don't expect PyTorch qubit support any time soon.


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