Summit v Sycamore

Summit - 10,000 years ( estimate :slight_smile: )
Sycamore - 3 minutes 20 seconds

The end of the beginning?

Or three days, depending on which report you read/believe.

How about some context?

CrossRoads:
How about some context?

Summit is the presently the world's fastest conventional computer.
Sycamore is a 54 qubit quantum computer Google is working on with NASA.

A report appeared briefly on a NASA website saying that Sycamore, with only 53 qubits working, had solved in minutes a problem that it was estimated would take Summit millennia to complete.

The report disappeared.
IBM dispute what has been done.

No doubt there is still a long way to go but perhaps we will see something really big in our lifetimes?

ardly:
No doubt there is still a long way to go but perhaps we will see something really big in our lifetimes?

There is the law of unintended consequences. Maybe mankind would be better off without this technology.

I'm sure the guy who conceived of the concept of atomic fission did not envisage wiping out Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

...R

Robin2:
I'm sure the guy who conceived of the concept of atomic fission did not envisage wiping out Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Enrico Fermi actually worked very hard to create that bomb. Then he spent the rest of his life trying to take it back.

Delta_G:
Enrico Fermi actually worked very hard to create that bomb.

My history is weak, but I thought the idea of fission had emerged before Fermi?

...R

Robin2:
My history is weak, but I thought the idea of fission had emerged before Fermi?

...R

Oh ok, yeah I don't know if he dreamed up the original idea or not, but he was certainly the one who made it go.

Here's something from IAEA that I've not finished reading yet but looks cool and informative.

EDIT: And it would seem that they also fought hard against the bomb:

The discovery later earned Otto Hahn the 1944 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Arguably as important as any award or prize, was Hahn's, Meitner's and Strassman's staunch refusal to be involved in the development of nuclear weapons, which their discovery had made possible. They also declared their fierce opposition to the use of nuclear technologies for military purposes. Many technological advances, from computing to flight to dynamite have been used to enable more deadly, more destructive weapons, but the discoverers of nuclear fission were adamant that their finding had its great potential in its peaceful applications.

Though I look at Chernobyl and Fukushima and wonder if even the peaceful applications are worth it.

Delta_G:
Oh ok, yeah I don't know if he dreamed up the original idea or not, but he was certainly the one who made it go.

That seems to me equivalent to the difference between the guy who said "oh my gosh, quantum computing might be possible" and the guys that decided to make it work.

I come back to a comment I made in this Forum long ago. I don't believe humans are any happier at the end of 2019 than they were at the end of 1319. And I don't think they will be any happier at the end of 2039 - even assuming there have not been 3 wars before then.

...R

But in 1319, people still had the Black Death to look forward to.

TheMemberFormerlyKnownAsAWOL:
But in 1319, people still had the Black Death to look forward to.

They didn't know it was coming so they didn't care. Just like we pretend we don't know what is coming and rush headlong into a climate crisis.

Quantum computing may be wonderfully interesting for the people involved (as, no doubt, was the development of the A-bomb). But it won't make one whit of improvement to human happiness. On the other hand it could turn out to be very destructive - perhaps by putting everyone under the minute control of some dictator.

...R

Robin2:
... I don't believe humans are any happier at the end of 2019 than they were at the end of 1319. And I don't think they will be any happier at the end of 2039 - even assuming there have not been 3 wars before then.

...R

There are a lot more people alive now than in 1319 and think the overall level of happiness is greater today. Back in 1319 life must have been pretty much a short, hand to mouth, drudge of an existence.

There are some challenges on the horizon before 2039, notably climate change and disease. For the most part wars are a minor issue.

At present AI is not intellegent at all. Even so it is beating humans at tasks in specific domains and the sucess of IBM's Watson at playing Jeopardy showed progress in general knowledge.

Quantum computing may be a real game changer.
Does anybody know how it works from a computing point of view?
I know quibits can be both one and zero at the same time, but that does not really mean anything to me.
How on earth would a write a program to run on a quantum computer?

ardly:
There are a lot more people alive now than in 1319 and think the overall level of happiness is greater today. Back in 1319 life must have been pretty much a short, hand to mouth, drudge of an existence.

Even so, I believe people were happy or unhappy to the same extent as nowadays.

There are some challenges on the horizon before 2039, notably climate change and disease. For the most part wars are a minor issue.

It is climate change that will be the cause of the war. Read Jared Diamond's "Collapse" - it happened before on smaller scales.

...R

Back in 1319 life must have been pretty much a short, hand to mouth, drudge of an existence.

How is that different from today?

Back then you worked your ass off to grow some crops and give part to the king. Today you work your ass off for some pieces of paper and then give some of that to the government.

At least you could live directly from what you made then. Today you work your ass off and get the paper and then the paper gets devalued and it doesn’t even buy something to eat.

reminds me, somehow, of the joke about who loves you most, your wife or your dog. Lock 'em both in the boot of the car. which one is nicest to you when you let 'em out a couple of hours later.
If you are unhappy with how things are today, compared to how they were a few hundred years back, it is easy to go back to how you think things were back then, then. turn off your computer, grow your own vegetables, etc. Or go to central Africa and live their life for the short time they that they can. There is a widespread sense of gulit being spread through the western world, for a specific reason, and after years of propaganda, swathes of folk believe it is all their fault. However, if we actually had to do work for our survival, we would not have time to dwell on this nonsense, so in that respect, it could be thought that folk were happier years ago.
As humans, we all have choices. More so today for most folk compared to 'back then' . The happiness, if you think that is the priority, comes from how you exercise those choices. There were not so many choices back then, but ignorance was bliss.

raymw:
There were not so many choices back then, but ignorance was bliss.

Thank you for your support.

…R

Fermi and friends tried to see FDR after Werner Heisenberg split atoms and the Nazis started their heavy water program to work towards a super-bomb. Only after they recruited Albert Einstein was an interview granted.

Those young men in Chicago were working towards making a bomb first, before Hitler had one.