- Google achieves significant progress in quantum computing capabilities.
- Quantum computer outperforms supercomputers in terms of speed.
- Demonstrates quantum supremacy and provides insights into quantum noise.
Quantum supremacy is such a silly concept. Nobody disagrees that quantum computers have the potential to do things classical computers cannot. The problem is one of how ubiquitous and scalable these quantum machines are. Until they are solving real-world problems, they are just potential.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful today, D-waves machines for example are useful even though they are not universal quantum computers (their computers are only capable of solving optimization problems, which if you were to pick only one class of problems in the world to solve, that’s a good choice).
What it does mean is that they are still niche. Until someone is breaking encryption, discovers new physics, accelerates database queries, and so on these things, they are mostly academic. Exciting, but hardly worth making bombastic claims.
Sadly, many other fields make such claims, too. If they were all to be believed, we’d have, for example, batteries that never degrade, store huge amounts of energy, can charge quickly, and are super cheap five years ago. Popular science “breakthroughs” should always be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism, especially when the next practical steps to making the technology mainstream aren’t discussed.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but it’s not surprising that there are anti-intellectuals out there when bombastic claims such as these are all too common.