MIT Scientist Offers $100k Prize To Anyone Able To Prove Quantum Computing Is Useless



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I owned Scott in a political squabble during the presidential elections in 2000.
He was espousing voter-swapping for Ralph Nader, and I pointed out the reasons against the idea.
His argument was so weak, that he took down his thesis for vote swapping, along with my arguments against them.

Glenn Condrey



My response on his blog: First of all I’m an artist, and not quite suited for this question when it comes to a sheer analytical fashion in the academic sense. However, I do have a creative mind, so here’s my shot at it. Plus, I’m a computer geek, so why the Hell not… First of all, we currently don’t have the storage needed for quantum computing. The largest drive we have, at the moment, I believe is 3TB. Nowhere near enough to run a quantum OS, let alone quantum compilers and programs. To have a quantum PC run as smooth and as seamless as the current tech we have today would go far beyond our lifetimes. Meaning to have a quantum PC sitting next to me as my workstation does today, or to have a quantum netbook, laptop, or smartphone will never happen in our lifetime. Not to run as “seamlessly” as we have it today with our current tech. Then throw into the mix particles given off by our sun, which already screws-up current PCs when there’s a solar flare. How stable do you think a quantum PC would be given that situation? It would have to have some serious housing to deflect such cosmic intrusions. Once again… Wont “seamlessly” be done in our lifetime. Speaking of which, then you have the basic infrastructure of the computer as we know it, today. An analogy; The government is highly against solar power as a renewable energy resource. NOT because it isn’t “valid” or “better”, but simply because we’d have to change the entire infrastructure of the oil industry to accomodate such a drastic change/shift. Same with this~ We’d have to “re-invent” all of our current motherboards, circuitry, and materials to do this. Once again I say, wont be done “seamlessly” in our lifetime. Perhaps not even in our children’s lifetime. Once again, the key word here is “seamless”. Getting back to compilers and programming, another analogy for you; Video game programmers now have access to 6 or more cores on a cpu, but they aren’t using all of those threads because the cost of “development” doesn’t allow for it. If they tried, video games would cost upwards of $200 a piece. Not practical at all. So just “how long” do you think it would take to write COMPLETELY NEW OS systems, compilers, drivers, and applications/programs for such a system? EVERYTHING would have to be re-written/re-done. The first Intel chip came out in the late 70′s. “dual core” didn’t happen until 2003. Look at the time span for that alone… almost 30 years. Microsoft didn’t even get Windows right until Win 7 (in my opinion), and that came out about 3 years ago. So here’s my conclusion to your proposal. Scalable quantum computing IS “physically impossible” in our lifetimes. Especially if you want such a system to run as “seamlessly” as the systems we have today (and as compact). You said that your bet goes “until you’re dead”. Well, by the time you die, we still wont be there. Your reality will be over, and the pursuit will still be sought after. So in your reality/life time, scalable quantum computing will have been “physically impossible”. Especially if you want it to run as well as the PCs we have today, and as compact. Given all of these factors, my concluding statement is… Where’s my money? ~Drew Henry



I think by now people would know that anything is possible. Just look at our own history and all the great minds who were told what they were trying to do was impossible and they went on to prove critics wrong. It's probably been happening for centuries. It may not be possible now with our current technology but eventually they will get it to work. Just look at how fast technology has developed in the past 20 years.



I don't even want to see this ever happen. Computers will be far too advanced then.



Brad, you need to change "useless" in your title to "impossible". The article clearly states that the bet is for "scalable quantum computing is impossible in the physical world".
Your interpretation of impossible as be useless is quite wrong. My son (double major in Math and Comp Sci at WPI) gave me a reason why folks are looking to create quantum computers as it does a couple of things really well. (Paying Crysis in not one of them). Also a look back a few months in Scientific American also states the reasons why so many folks are looking at building quantum computers.
No, a quantum computer is useful, but there are still doubts that they can be built, hence the bet.



How can you prove a negative? Anything is possible.






Sorry, but your WRONG is WRONG.

Proving that certain parts of mathematics are impossible has nothing to do with this. You can't say that "Quantum computing is and always shall be useless" because new discoveries can (and probably will) be made that will make it useful. These discoveries might not be made for hundreds of years, or might never be made by mankind, but just because something is outside of the grasp of man, doesn't mean it's impossible.






+1. I'll take the $100,000 now.



Thank you. Came here to say that.

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