Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2014)

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Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:19 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2014/0714.shtml

Where do we go from here? We're rapidly running out of ways to shrink our CPUs and increase their power, simply because we're bumping into the effects of the quantum world.

Is quantum computing an inevitable evolution of computing power?

Are Musk and Hawkings right when they warn of the perils of machine intelligence?
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Re: Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2

Postby goosemoose » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:38 am

aardvark_admin wrote:What a shame we only live three score and ten years -- I'm picking that the next hundred years will be so damned exciting.

Only if you're a lawyer, accountant or bureaucrat. An advantage would be if quantum computing could turn these occupations in mere clerical work, hopefully for minimum wage.

The optimist in me can see the advantages of quantum computing for scientific research.
The pessimist in me can see the advantages of quantum computing for data mining and the selling of widgets.
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Re: Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2

Postby phord » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:52 pm

My observation, the increasing of processor power has not made much difference to the usability of software in the last 14 years.

Back in the late 90s, there was a huge increase & improvements in the range of useful software.
E.G. MS Office, Autocad, sound wave editing, movie editing, raytracing, animation, midi, web broswers, desktop publishing, vector based graphics (adobe illustrator), bitmap based (photoshop),OCR, financial software (Quickbooks), laser printers, & so on.
Some of this stuff could run fast on 16 Megabytes of RAM.

The software these days is massively bloated with grossly inefficient code.
The functionality of the latest software should be much greater considering all the advances in hardware.
How Adobe Acrobat reader 11 can be a 71 megabyte download is disgusting. It is only a viewer!
Version 3 was only 3 MB.

My prediction is that hardware won't get much faster (for the average buyer), because at the end of the day, faster hardware is only needed to run bloated software.
Lazy software writers will have to learn to program for some limitations, just like they used to.
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Re: Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2

Postby Anaru » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:27 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:Is quantum computing an inevitable evolution of computing power?


In my opinion, yes.

aardvark_admin wrote:Are Musk and Hawkings right when they warn of the perils of machine intelligence?


Again, in my opinion, yes. Although it could be as good a thing as it could be bad; Humans consume so much information that if an intelligent "machine" were dictating that consumption in some regard then it could be a good thing if the parameters of that machines purpose were good. However the reality is very much the opposite - we have Google search that feeds us the best "results" for our search term, and at the same time uses the information to feed us relevant advertisements. I suspect that that pattern of dictated consumption (with both good and bad parameters) will continue and as the ability to dictate becomes even better the impact of those parameters will become greater.

On the flipside I could see the massive processing power being used for improving democracy, one of the problems with it is saturation in that if you asked a question of a politician and they refused to answer it because only 100 people would be interested in that answer - thus a minority - you could turn that around by saying that the question and it's answer is relevant to 100 people identified for X and Y reasons, there for it is relevant to the majority. Take for example a female-only related issue, if you asked men to vote on it (whose opinion is irrelevant) then it wouldn't really be democratic. Having a dynamic democracy with fluid stakeholders on various issues (without the dramatic consultation hoo-ha) would be interesting.
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Re: Quantum computers, whether we want them or not(14 Jul, 2

Postby hellonearthis » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:10 am

D-Wave is more like a quantum emulator than a quantum computer.
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