What is the Question?

I was just reading an article in the Independent about a paper that was published on NASA’s website called ‘Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor.’
To be journalistically responsible, I must point out that the paper was later removed from NASA’s website. There are a few reasons why it might have been. Maybe the science was sketchy, and they just hadn’t caught it pre-publication. Maybe the powers that be saw it and were afraid that the masses would go into panic mode and start rioting in the streets. Or maybe the powers that be just wanted to kill the story because they are dicks. I’m going with hypotheses #3, because it is my natural suspicion and default position that those in authority are dicks.
Anyway, according to the story, Google has the super quantum computer that can solve a problem in a bit over three minutes that it would take an old-fashioned, garden variety supercomputer 10,000 years to solve.
That does sound quite impressive, indeed, but…..
They never say in the article what the question was. Probably a bunch of numbers, because that’s the way scientists think.

I will be impressed when we can ask a computer questions like “What combination of low cost and abundant substances would cure cancer?” or “How can we terraform Mars for less than $10 billion” or “What is the formula for fusion energy?” and actually get an answer.

I suspect it’s coming soon.

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