Scientific Sense Podcast

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Training Schrödinger’s Cat

A recent article in Nature describes a possible break-through in quantum computing. Engineers at the University of New South Wales seem to have built a quantum logic gate in Silicon, possibly opening up a pathway toward practical quantum computing in Silicon based processors. In theory, the technology could turn conventional bits into quantum bits, allowing traditional chip architectures to morph into those supporting quantum computing.

This is good news. As many philosophers worry about singularity, for no apparent reason, creative engineers have been moving the goal posts closer to practical quantum computing. It is a technology discontinuity, something if shown to be practical, could substantially change the economic prospects of a whole generation, currently stuck in a plateau of no innovation. They are beginning to realize that calling a phone 6, 7, 18 or 6S is not really innovation – it is packaging. They are realizing that creating fake computer generated voices in marketing announcing Sherlock Holmes and Watson, is not really innovation, it is bad sales technique. They are realizing that skipping version 9 and going straight to 10 is not innovation, it is a cheap gimmick. They are realizing that names that are difficult to pronounce are not really technologies but ways to siphon money out of companies who want to jump on the latest band wagons.

The next discontinuity is not in software – it is in hardware. Unfortunately, world's largest hardware companies do not seem to understand it and the world is now replete with incompetent software companies – creating operating systems, applications, "artificial intelligence" and databases – with no innovation content.

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