Sunday, January 03, 2016

Notes on the Revolution, 4

Quantum Computers

Emerging Technology That Will Revolutionize The World

By David Deuchar

  • Google’s Quantum AI team, which works with NASA and D-Wave Systems, recently announced concrete evidence of huge runtime gains for proof-of-principle optimization problems with D-Wave’s latest quantum computer.
  • The 1000+ qubit D-Wave 2X quantum annealer outperforms classical processors by a factor of over 10 to the 8, or 100 million times.
  • Central banks, governments and major aerospace firms already employ the technology on a exploratory basis, but financial researchers/directors see massive potential for portfolio optimization in the vein of HFT trading.
  • This technology not only has massive implications for Google but for the entire financial industry as a whole.

The ability to solve complex, dynamic problems that would take classical computers tens of thousands of years in mere seconds — this has been the promise of quantum computing. The theories and ideas behind quantum computing have been around for decades, but now, Google is starting to demonstrate concrete progress in the quest for a practical quantum annealer that could revolutionize the entire world.

I was happy to see color and consciousness in the scrolling topics. Here’s a little learning to flesh that out a bit.

So long as we adhere to the conventional notions of mind and matter, we are condemned to a view of perception which is miraculous. We suppose that a physical process starts from a visible object, travels to the eye, there changes into another physical process, causes yet another physical process in the optic nerve, and finally produces some effect in the brain, simultaneously with which we see the object from which the process started, the seeing being something “mental”, totally different from the physical processes which precede and accompany it. This view is so queer that metaphysicians have invented all sorts of theories designed to substitute something less incredible.

~Bertrand Russell

If you ask a physicist what is his idea of yellow light, he will tell you that it is transversal electromagnetic waves of wavelength in the neighborhood of 590 millimicrons. If you ask him: But where does yellow come in? he will say: In my picture not at all, but these kinds of vibrations, when they hit the retina of a healthy eye, give the person whose eye it is the sensation of yellow.