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Nat
Nat
3:16 AM
I am kinda wondering what SE.QuantumComputing's odds might be. The topic's a bit esoteric, and so while it'd seem to be a growing area of interest over the years, dunno how readily this SE might meet the criteria for coming out of beta.
My main concerns are that it's both pretty niche among scientists and somewhat popular as a place for psuedoscientist enthusiasts.
Anything "quantum" has a tendency to get swamped with stuff that just is not sound.
So I'm not sure what the balance is for that.
The other thing is that, even as someone who uses QM all the time in their work, I have basically no idea about what quantum computing is so I'm not likely to take an interest.
So there's a definite barrier to entry even among science folk
vzn
vzn
3:39 AM
@Semiclassical agreed, but so far none of it ("woo") seems to have shown up around here, and SE culture can be ruthless about enforcing strict scope. however, those battles will predictably occur over time if the site makes it.
Nat
Nat
On that note, I'd point out that Einstein was wrong about Darwin's theory of classical electromagnetic black holes.
vzn
vzn
@Nat uh, joking?
Nat
Nat
@vzn 'course not. I read an article about it on a website with no fewer than 50 different font/color combinations.
Unless that's somehow a reference to Charles Galton Darwin I have no idea what you mean.
ah. crazy talk
vzn
vzn
@Nat lol coincidentally was near a conversation in Physics recently about how einstein had some incorrect ideas about black holes...
Nat
Nat
3:47 AM
Heh, the crackpot index.
vzn
vzn
it seems so far QC is not attracting (many?) crackpots but maybe its just a matter of time... although that does remind me, some have accused this guy of being a near-crackpot
it may not be attracting crackpots, but I worry about it attracting hype.
there's reasons to be interested, of course.
vzn
vzn
@Semiclassical agreed. hype and crackpots go together like flies and honey. there is so much hype now on QC. china, EU, australia all spending or announced billions.
they're related, but they're a bit different.
I think the main difference is money.
Nat
Nat
I'm actually pretty interested in seeing what physical insights might fall out of quantum-computing failures.
I mean, when physicists first discover something, it's all idealism and spherical cows.
3:51 AM
I'm just curious as to what'll happen.
Nat
Nat
Then when the field starts getting adopted by engineers, the cows stop being so spherical and we start working junk out.
It's the possibility of a bubble that makes me pause a bit
Nat
Nat
So, I mean, the principles on which quantum computing is based seem to work from the basic equations we've used to put 'em together. But, as far as I can tell, there's no reason to think that they're arbitrarily extensible.
So, quantum computing approaches, as currently imagined, would seem likely to fail.
But how they fail should be fascinating.
vzn
vzn
yes, a bubble or a winter is not unheard of with these types of (highly novel) technologies. has anyone heard of the "gartner hype cycle"? have been thinking about it a lot more lately... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle
@Nat noise ... re that...
though I don't think QC is a bubble yet. (cryptocurrency, by contrast...)
I'm waiting for the day when bitcoin crashes.
vzn
vzn
NISQ → noisy intermediate stage quantum
re bubbles, there are funky combinations of technologies that seem even more exotic/ sketchy/ bordering on implausible eg Quantum ML/ AI etc...
Nat
Nat
@Semiclassical It'd be interesting to see what failure mode Bitcoin might have.
vzn
vzn
bitcoin is now known/ proven to be what might be called energy voracious... it may even be a severe scalability issue...
Nat
Nat
3:58 AM
I mean, apparently the founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, still has a ton of bitcoins that've been unused. Presumably that character could reemerge at any time and try to do a mass-sell-off or something. (Dunno if there's anything in place that'd prevent something to that effect, anyway.)
Or then finding a way to break the crypto schemes behind it could allow someone to exploit the market, if there's some mathematical breakthrough or something.
Or then maybe people'll just lose confidence in it. Or maybe it'll be outlawed. Or maybe someone'll exploit a common hardware mining platform.
vzn
vzn
@Nat yes and tightly or loosely coupled with that (back to QC!), then theres the link between shors algorithm and RSA... o_O
Nat
Nat
Hah, yeah, back to QC - I'm mostly just fascinated to see what assumptions about how it should work'll fall apart. I mean, even assumptions about what it can't do are themselves physical predictions that could yet be invalidated. Seems like quantum computionalists'll end up doing basic physics research.
Personally I'm hoping that some patterns are noticed that help to shed light on what's often alleged to be its non-determinism. I mean, the way I see it, we simply haven't experimented with extensive quantum systems yet; all of our theories are based on relatively small-scale applications. But once we start building the big stuff, we might notice defects that aren't explainable in terms of current models. And that's the sort of breakthrough I hope to see.
vzn
vzn
@Nat that is the pattern so far. looks like the phds can barely handle it. we'll see if strangeworks/ whurley can put any kind of dent in that. thats a very ambitious prj, not even obviously achievable/ feasible.
@Nat wrt that, my favorite latest idea is to do local hidden variable (model) "searches" via some kind of QC algorithms. it seems this idea hasnt occurred to anyone so far though.
Nat
Nat
@vzn Do we know what the Strange Works stuff is yet? I've got JavaScript disabled on my boxes, so the website looks pretty sparse on my end.
vzn
vzn
@Nat its a startup. the manifesto sounds great. :) sounds to me like (sound bite elevator pitch) whurley wants to be to QC what musk is to OpenAI...
Nat
Nat
4:13 AM
@vzn Huh, I'm doing a startup for something kinda AI-related; kinda self-funding for now, though, with the presumption that there won't really be independent sustainability 'til I get a product out. I wonder how Strange Works might intend to support itself?
I mean I figured that OpenAI's a money sink supported by a guy who has the cash to throw at it, such that it wouldn't be something a new entrepreneur could really pull off for simple lack of cash.
vzn
vzn
@Nat seems whurley has deep pockets with some prior successes/ "liquidity events". the manifesto seems to shy away from the idea of consulting per se. looks like its all a work in progress to say the least. similar to how silicon valley startups used to get fairly sizeable without a clear idea about the crucial "monetization" (strategy)... aka "theres gotta be $$$ around here somewhere!"
Nat
Nat
Ahhh that makes sense. Yeah, I can see someone with prior success wanting to do something cool 'n fun like QC!
vzn
vzn
@Nat it has (increasingly!) "shiny cachet" o_O ... but another factor is... notice how much investment is like herd stampedes... in this case (again) the alpha bull is Google. and IBM to some degree.
thinking out loud, it would be very interesting to compare google vs IBM spending on QC... seems like they might be close...
@Nat btw one of his startups was sold to/ acquired by goldman sachs & am sure theres some more story behind that one.
Nat
Nat
4:50 AM
@vzn Hah I'll have to ask about that! I still have a good bit to learn about the commercial side of the startup world.
Alrighties, I best get some rest. 'night folks!
 
3 hours later…
7:53 AM
While we're still not getting much in the way of questions, it's good to see a gradual inflow of QC people to the site :) It's also worth mentioning that, while there's been no 'explosion' of the knowledge of this place in the UK, the knowledge that we exist is gradually percolating across
 
3 hours later…
10:39 AM
@Mithrandir24601 It's a site unlike any other,
But I wish I gave it more of myself last week.
11:30 AM
@Mithrandir24601 Good. Slow and steady wins the race
@Mithrandir24601 I think I'm going to write a meta post on 'integration' of experts from different fields.
 
2 hours later…
1:54 PM
Oh, @whurley, about your 'what quantum experts should I invite?' remark. I can perhaps ask some (leading) expert(s) in the field of Post Quantum Cryptography in person (by 'accidentally' bumping into them during lunch or so). (I'm not that close to them, but one of them knows my name, at least!) But, as PQP researchers mostly try to combat CQ, they aren't (nessecarily) that well versed in actual Quantum.
On the other hand, I trust in the quality of these people and it would certainly increase 'diversity'
Maybe I should just mail. Anyway, I 'know' some experts that would probably listen to me if I ask them to join (whether they actually join or contribute is their own opinion, of course)
2:30 PM
@Discretelizard What's your educational background?
In case you haven't been keeping an eye on new users, we have Venturelli from NASA, Wootton from Basel, Nishimori (proved quantum annealing is better than classical), Lidar (Q Error correction expert), and Brian La Cour (currently teaching undergrad quantum computing at UT Austin)
and Mandra also from NASA
2:47 PM
@AndrewO Ah, good. People I haven't chased away yet ;)
@AndrewO My backgound is in math+CS. Mainly discrete math, although I know a bit about Analysis (currently listening to a partial differentiation lecture, lol) and some stats and probability theory. On the CS side I specialize in Algorithms, in particular computational geometry. The crypto people at my university are quite good at Post quantum crypto (at least, they seem to be good at organising stuff for that field) . I don't know much about crypto, but like to look at their results.
A few side-topics for me in CS are Formal Methods and Proving with Computer assistance. Note: most of my fellow students can identify me from these interests, but my pseudonymity is mostly one-way, people who know me may now who this lizard really is, but I don't want the public at large now my real name. Yet.
Oh, I guess my focus on discrete math explains one part of my name. The fact that I think lizards are pretty neat (don't have any as pet, I'm afraid, might consider having a small one in the future) explains the rest
@AndrewO Does this answer your question?
3:22 PM
@AndrewO "proved quantum annealing is better than classical", heh, at least one expert doesn't entirely agree with that.
Which one
Katzgaber. In his now deleted post
The post was deleted due to him basically stating that Quantum annealing isn't much better than classical Simulated annealing and not explaining this
So for form, not because of content
Rather, it was deleted for lack of content
Oh btw @AndrewO, are you satisfied with my explanation of what my education has given me?
You misunderstood Katzgraber. Nishimori has shown that quantum annealing can perform better than simulated annealing back in 98. Katzgraber’s comments were about the dwave’s Implementation.
And yes. I’ve gathered you’re an ambitious undergrad.
vzn
vzn
@AndrewO sounds like an answer somewhere to me. it seems that quantum annealing outperforming classical annealing relates directly to the open BQP =? P question. am hoping to see a few related Q/A emerge on that. (my recent one impinges on it.)
3:53 PM
@AndrewO Define "undergrad". I do have a bachelor's diploma in Math and CS.
I'm doing a Masters', currently.
@vzn Maybe you should ask a question about the relation between BQP vs P and quantum annealing vs Classical annealing?
@vzn Otherwise, I'll do it for you ;P
vzn
vzn
@Discretelizard yeah its a good idea, but not sure can ask it in a coherent way at the moment. :) feel free to give it a stab would not feel slighted in the least. its interesting how it seems a lot working in QC never talk about BQP =? P. even those outside it (eg comp scientists) seem to rarely mention it. it seems to be of high importance along with P =? NP kind of a closely related even "coupled" problem. heres a wild idea, how about a prize on BQP =? P also? :)
@vzn Ask Strangeworks ;p
Surely they can get enough investor money for a little motivational prize.
@vzn I think people don't talk about P vs BQP, because they're afraid that P=BQP ;)
@AndrewO What paper? I mean, 'can outperform' is a very vague statement in the context of simulated annealing, that should be very properly motivated to be distinguished from 'can be very lucky'.
@AndrewO But I do get I come over as a cheeky undergrad ;)
vzn
vzn
4:08 PM
@Discretelizard interesting pov. think that many working in QC are not aware of P =? BQP problem. eg it is not refd in major papers related to the subj eg by Martinis who is lately talking a lot about "quantum supremacy". the P =? BQP problem is central to "quantum supremacy". actually do have similar suspicions that maybe P =? BQP problem is related to (non)existence of local hidden variable theories for QM.
@vzn I wouldn't know about your suspicions, but I can understand that most Physics people would be less aware of interesting complexity theory results.
vzn
vzn
@Discretelizard lol "results," its more like "search for..." but anyway sometimes just naming/ defining stuff can help significantly (to rigorously/ theoretically/ mathematically frame the problem(s) etc)...
@vzn Eh, if a lot of people talk about it, you might as well call it a 'result' of research.
I agree on the importance of good names and taking care to ask the right questions.
glS
glS
4:39 PM
Hi @Discretelizard. Sorry, I'm voting to reject many of your tag edit suggestions. I don't understand what you want to organise under the "quantum-computing-model" tag
4:55 PM
@Discretelizard arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/9804280.pdf Nishimori is very well respected in his field. Not someone I would give a hard time about anything...
 
2 hours later…
7:09 PM
@Discretelizard Sounds good. We have a list and have been bringing them in a few a day.
Perhaps the name isn't very good. Feel free to suggest another name om meta! I do think this tag is needed, though.
@glS Perhaps I should explain. There is a difference between quantum computers as a machine and as a theoretical model. We have a tag 'quantum computers' (I've a suggestion on meta to change that name into something more descriptive btw, please raise your voice on it) that covers QC as machines. However, there are many questions that aren't about physical machines. They consider theoretical models, and I think a tag for that is useful.
@glS Oh and don't worry about mass-rejecting, that's what the review queue is for ;)
@whurley Ok good, I'll see if I can take a few minutes of their time soon to explain and suggest they give it a shot. I think that this being a rather 'easy entry' platform with good quality control is a nice plus for researchers sharing their expertise. Although I will warn about potential addicition ;)
@AndrewO Well, I'll take your word for it that this person is quite good. However, everyone can make mistakes. I'll take my right to be skeptical until I've read a good argument :D
@whurley That is, I'll tell one of them and ask if they can let the other know. I'll wait for announcing who I reached out to before I've talked to them. That's more exiciting ;)
Although perhaps you can guess. Shouldn't be too hard.
7:51 PM
@Discretelizard Sounds like a plan to me.
 
2 hours later…
9:52 PM
@Discretelizard I refer you to Grover's algorithm :P
(even if they're equal, BQP is still more equal than P :))
@Mithrandir24601 "More equal" in what sense? Some problems that are easier to solve in BQP?
@Discretelizard In the 'you need to read Animal Farm' sense :P
i.e. "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"
10:15 PM
@Mithrandir24601 Yes, I get the reference, but I don't see how it applies here.
@Mithrandir24601 I mean, not that I have read animal farm and that it wouldn't take much time to read the surprisingly short book..., but I doubt that will explain your current usage of the phrase here. Unless Orwell was secretly an QC visionary?
@Discretelizard It's just my sense of humour - yeah, I'm essentially saying that there exists at least one case where a QC offers a 'provable quantum speedup'
Imagine: 1984, in which the government uses their exclusive usage of quantum computers to break all civilian encryption and control all information.
@Mithrandir24601 Ah okay, clear. I don't think your humour is bad, just a bit unhelpful, initially. Humour is good. At least, when it has more substance than endless puns.
@Discretelizard If you think that was punny, you haven't seen a real pun :P
Here I go, brain the size of planet, engaging in critique of the 'humour' of pointless meatbags. As if I haven't seen it all 4 times. Of which 1 backwards. Sigh (This is also a reference. My brain is actually of normal size relative to the rest of my body)
@Mithrandir24601 It wasn't a pun, which is why I said pun barrages would be met with vigorous countermeasures!
@Discretelizard That's not a reference. This is a reference
10:23 PM
@Mithrandir24601 Alright, you're exploiting ambiguity in the word 'equal'. Okay, the fun police deems your remark a 'pun'. Carry on, citizen.
Anyway, it's getting late. Off to bed I go.
@Discretelizard Night!
10:34 PM
Let me briefly postpone my slumber for this:
4
Q: Are questions about programming for IBM Quantum experience (QX) on topic?

kenorbGiven the following question: There was an error in the circuit!. Error = 'QISkit Time Out' Is programming using QISKit for IBM Q experience (QX) on-topic? Considering the fact that the questions about Q# are on topic as per Are questions about Q# on topic?

This is, IMO, an important question regarding the scope of this site. Please read it carefully, especially all the comments, and vote wisely.
I am of the opinion that allowing too much programming here that is essentially unrelated to QC, in both question and solution method, is a very bad idea. I also believe that the relative lack of experts, and unreasonably large amount of programmers due to this site being SE could be decisive in this. I do worry that this repels potential researchers, so I ask all those who think these questions are fine to think again.
For you all know what I think. Experts are crucial to the success of this site, so we should be accomodating to them and remove questions that are better asked on SO.
If someone would like to make a rather well-thought argument one way or the other, feel free to add to the meta discussion, that will attract more viewers than this chat here.
10:55 PM
@Discretelizard re: "relative lack of experts". I'm skimming the front page of 'users' and I can definitely spot a good number of at-least-PhD-level people. Also, remember: 1. It might not be part of learning science, but it is part of doing science - these (hardware/programming issues etc.) are the kinds of problems that occur a lot, 2. If the community changes its mind, it changes its mind and 3. Its very easy to 'ignore' a tag
vzn
vzn
@Discretelizard ok my feeling is that sometimes SE mgt/ denizens sometime worry too much about "hypothetical scope". ie "if we allowed [x] we would be overrun with [x]". but its like as said about musk et al AI concerns/ alarm by Ng, "its like worrying about overcrowding on mars". think there are very few ppl really using IBM QX and this site should support them for as long as possible. hope this site retains strong applied flavor. theregister.co.uk/2015/03/19/andrew_ng_baidu_ai
@vzn This is also very true and seems to need repeating a lot
vzn
vzn
@Mithrandir24601 tags are a good point meant to mention that. do think it valuable some energy should be put into trying to get good tags/ categorization early on before they solidify. the trick is to pick tags that are useful now & will ideally be useful later as the site evolves also. here, maybe an or etc something like that...
@vzn Yeah, it's hard though - if for some of the very reasons this site is good - we've got such an interdisciplinary mix of people :) but this means that they might use different words to mean the same thing, so could require some extra tag maintenance. Ah well, it'll be worth it
And it's also good for people to see a broad mix of related things
@vzn My vote: applied - no. ibmqx - definitely yes
vzn
vzn
@Mithrandir24601 right, "applied" is just an idea. maybe something similar. theres a distinct audience of researchers vs users/ consumers of QC, people trying out coding, etc. what could capture that etc
11:03 PM
mmm... If/once I get the proper privileges, I'd maybe make it a synonym of
vzn
vzn
maybe something like is related to that post in question. and yeah can see the point that maybe there needs to be some standards on those types of questions. otherwise every single person that cant even get a canned demo running might be asking on the site. etc. who knows. it will take some time but "annoying question types" will eventually arise/ be discovered (for any successful site)...
@vzn yeah, I get the idea, only 'applied' would be broad as it could cover about half the scope of the site :P
@vzn that sounds fairly reasonable.. Hmm...
vzn
vzn
@Mithrandir24601 there is some natural scope boundary with other sites eg does IBM QX have a forum somewhere? not aware myself
@vzn They do have a question/answer page as part of the quantum experience, but I don't see why that would bother SE
vzn
vzn
@Mithrandir24601 the point is that if they have a great forum where people (even experts) are helping each other with ibm qx questions, then theres less of a need to cover it here etc... also a place to try to recruit for this site :)
11:09 PM
@vzn Again, doesn't make it off-topic, especially if SE's aim is to be better than all those other q&a sites ;)
vzn
vzn
@Mithrandir24601 not disagreeing but nor will the site be "all things to all people" & expect some natural crosspollination with other sites. one can see such synergy eg with reddit etc. (already cfed reddit a few times myself, and Quantum Computing was recently mentioned there etc)

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