back to article Google: We've achieved quantum supremacy! IBM: Nope. And stop using that word, please

The esoteric world of quantum computing is all aquiver following a robust blog post from IBM essentially rubbishing claims from Google that it has achieved "quantum supremacy". The post notes that quantum computing is approaching the limits of classical simulation and there are big questions as to how to evaluate and benchmark …

  1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Quantum supremacy

    secondly, that it evokes white supremacy.

    No, it evokes an SF Big Bad who's got the money to build a Death Star but not enough brains to put a grid over the particle exhaust vent.

    1. Psmo

      Re: Quantum supremacy

      Or an emminently forgettable sequel.

      Or a pulp easy-reader packed with pseudo-science and unbacked assertions.

    2. Real Horrorshow

      Re: Quantum supremacy

      "...secondly, that it evokes white supremacy."

      Shouldn't that be 'wokes white supremacy'? You know, for those determined to mutilate the language and drag their socio-political agenda into everything.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge


    ...and who sells classic computers???

    It's a noggin scratcher...

    1. Psmo

      Re: Hmmm...

      Are they the low-sugar ones?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm...

      Apple. I bought one in the 1980s. Relevance?

      No, seriously, whatever the pros and cons of IBM if it came down to a snap decision on who was right - the people who develop and sell advanced computers and software or the people who use them, no matter how cleverly, to support their advertising agency - I think I know where my vote would go.

    3. el kabong

      A company that sells ads versus a company that sells computers

      Hyperbole against hard facts, that's going to be a really tough pick I'm so divided right now.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: A company that sells ads versus a company that sells computers

        Which one is better for Fortnite...

      2. GreggS

        Re: A company that sells ads versus a company that sells computers


        "hyberbole over fact"

        Insert obligatory Brexit statement here:

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm...

      Given that IBM has been pouring money into QC and that they don't make anywhere near as many classic computers as they did 30 or so years ago, I think you are on the right track but following the wrong reason.

      It's all about undermining the competition. You wouldn't want that significant US government funding to go to someone without IBMs long history of pioneering QC...

  3. EricM

    Sudden outbreak of common sense at IBM

    IBM argues against hyping test results - I'm positively shocked :-)

    Hope they keep the same level of sceptism when announcing their own next results in the field...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Sudden outbreak of common sense at IBM

      IBM Research has generally been a solid organization. True, sometimes the marketing machine will hear of something and go on a tear. On the whole, though, they tend to publish solid work in the usual dry style.

      This is the organization that invented the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, after all. Among other things.

    2. Il'Geller

      Study philosophy!

      There are two branches in Philosophy. One branch ended on Hegel, and I am its only living representative. The second is Marx, Moore, Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein.

      Modern computer, SQL, Google with Facebook came from Russell and Co., this is the philosophy of the constants, 1 and 0.

      Quantum computer, AI are descended from Hegel and me, they are based on becoming, on what is between 1 and 0.

      Otherwise, Russell and Co. are Arithmetic, Geometry and Algebra.

      Quantum computer and AI are Differential Analysis and Lobachevsky Geometry.

      1. deadlockvictim

        Re: Study philosophy!

        Ilya Geller» One branch ended on Hegel, and I am its only living representative.


        If you are its only living representative, how can it have ended?

        Oh well, maybe logic is not as important in philosophy as I thought.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sudden outbreak of common sense at IBM

      Common sense?

      I'm not saying IBM are wrong, but this is as much about publicity as being correct - if IBM had a 50+ qubit quantum computer that they could demonstrate, they would make the same claims rather than just announce one soon...

      Interestingly, in critiquing their competition, I can't help wondering if they have actually revealed the limits of their own solutions and QC in general.

  4. rsole

    Quantum Supremacy uncertainty principle

    Is it a case of the closer we get to Quantum Supremacy the less we know about what it means?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      More FUBARFUD

      Is it a case of the closer we get to Quantum Supremacy the less we know about what it means? .... rsole

      No, it is not, rsole. It is a case of the closer we get to Quantum Supremacy the more an elite and/or enlightening few know about what it means for everything.

      And yes, that can be terrifyingly spun to terrorise any mass of natives captured in a collapsing corrupted system but whether that is to be effectively protective or quickly self-destructive is a mystery and enigma to exercise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More...

        "or enlightening few know about what it means for everything" --

        and, probably, "...for a/the few who know that it means everything"....

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: More Shenanigans Exposing the Extra Gospel Truths .... of Ancient Knowledge*

          Touché, AC.

          And that is a catastrophic vulnerability to exhaust, exploit and explore ...... adore and server, and thus also, coincidentally by SecureD IntelAIgent Design, an almighty opportunity to embrace, enjoy and employ in Advanced Ware Fighter Experiments.

          :-) * ..For more 00mph for Investors in Sure Real Master Pilots into New JOINT AIdVentures. :-) I Kid U Not.:-)>

          Methinks a Google claiming to have achieved quantum supremacy is a tad premature and untrue and thus utterly bogus .... for is not quantum communication on Earth just in its infancy .... and learning how to grow almightily well and wisely.

          Which you might like to agree is a hell of a lot better than any other root route to be made available. :-) Capiche?

  5. Il'Geller

    AI indexing

    For some reason, no one pays attention to the fact that Google said that it applies artificial intelligence technology to what they call quantum computing. Yes, AI indexing actually allows them to accelerate billions and trillions of times.

    1. Il'Geller

      Re: AI indexing

      "In RL, a software agent takes sequential actions aiming tocmaximize a reward function, or a negative cost function, that embodies the target problem. Successful training of an RL agent depends on balancing exploration of unknown territory with exploitation of existing knowledge."

    2. Il'Geller

      IBM can do the same!

      How does Google do THIS? Google works with patterns, each of which consists of several (two-five) words. Next, Google creates their absolute uniqueness by annotating each of their words with a set of some dictionary definitions, which convey their unique meanings. This uniqueness allows Google to instantly find the right patterns, without going through millions the same patterns in search for the right context: the context is literally "captured" as these unique dictionary definitions. So, "Yes", Google can do the work of many thousands of years almost instantaneously.

  6. Graham Cunningham


    53 Q*Berts is truly a mind-boggling proposition. That is all.

    1. GreggS

      Re: Boggling

      Q-Bert says"@!*?@!"

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Boggling

        Exactly the problem - the system is perturbed, introducing noise and reducing your score.

  7. 5p0ng3b0b

    Logic Dictates:

    Google: We've achieved quantum supremacy! Spock: *ROFL*

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Quantum Profit

    Google achieves "Quantum Supremacy" over IBM

    Google achieves "Quarterly Profit Supremacy"over IBM"

  9. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    In all seriousness...

    ... it's a good blog post. The abstruse technical content is relatively minor and can safely be skipped by people not knowledgeable about the field. It makes good points about how data representations, algorithms, implementation optimizations, and resources with a range of economic parameters can be used to solve problems using conventional (non-BQP) techniques in ways that are many orders of magnitude more efficient than the straightforward approach.

    Its cautions about "quantum supremacy" are also well-taken, of course. Even if (probably when) we have a true QS machine, the set of useful problems that can be economically solved by such a system is going to be quite small, even in the best case. Real, productive application of BQP algorithms will mostly require a machine quite a lot larger than the minimal QS system. And QC systems do not trivially scale. It's possible that a minimal-QS machine is feasible but a generally-useful QC system is not, even for high-value problems.

  10. DuncanLarge


    > that it evokes white supremacy.

    WTF has the ku klux klan got to do with qubits?

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