Quantum Bayesian Networks

February 26, 2015

What does a quantum computer look like?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:35 pm

Since time immemorial, scientists have been grappling with the thorny, open, research-question of what does a quantum computer look like (or rather, will look like). Here is my artist’s rendition. I’m sure better scientists than I can come up with more elevating and edifying portrayals, but this is my own, dammit. Work with me here. (This picture was inspired by my previous blog post. It is based on this image. I also used pictures of Atlas, a robot made by the Boston Dynamics company, which is now owned by Google, who must intend to use it to build the first army of robotic soldiers. I hope my Greek friend Angelo aka ElAngelExterminador approves of my allusion to sublime Greek culture).

February 25, 2015

Maybe You Should Believe in Sean Carroll

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:35 am

3corcovado-sean-carrollPhysicist (cosmologist) Sean Carroll, a darling of the popular-science press, is a vocal atheist. Although he does not believe in the existence of God, because it’s an untestable theory, he does believe in the Many Wor(l)ds Interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI), another untestable theory. In a recent blog post, Sean pities those who do not believe in the true interpretation, for they shall not see the glory of heaven. According to Sean, MWI is easily derivable, using only pure logic, from a few, very simple, widely accepted axioms. Sean has devoted considerable time and effort to proving the existence of many worlds and disproving the existence of God.

I’m afraid I’m one of those nonbelievers that Sean pities so much. See my opinion of MWI here.

Although I don’t believe in MWI, I do have a scientific religion, quantum computation. There is a big difference between QC and MWI, though. Quantum computation is a testable theory. Even better, its ultimate goal is to construct a tangible, physical machine. That machine is a God to me, a Deus ex Machina. I believe that this God/machine will descend from heaven (thanks to a handy crane) at the end of the play, and save the day, just in the nick of time, when the situation seemed all but hopeless.

February 3, 2015

Scott Aaronson Bites Seth Lloyd’s Ear

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 4:04 pm

Yesterday was an eventful Groundhog Day.

Check out

Jimmy the Groundhog turns on the mayor
(Feb 2, 2015, Chicago Tribune)


SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — A mayor in Wisconsin has learned a valuable lesson about his city’s weather-predicting critter: Don’t get too close.

Jimmy, the official groundhog in Sun Prairie, bit the mayor’s ear during a Groundhog Day celebration Monday. The groundhog’s handler was holding the animal next to Mayor Jonathan Freund’s face when it promptly bit down on his ear. Freund flinched but went on with his declaration that Jimmy had predicted an early spring.

Will the groundhog see its shadow? It’s a question asked of the country’s most famous critter, Punxsutawney Phil, every Feb. 2 in front of anxious crowds desperate to know whether spring is around the corner or if six more weeks of winter must be endured.

The Groundhog Day celebration became even more precarious when Jimmy’s handlers, Jerry and Maria Hahn, said the mayor had gotten it wrong and that there would be six more weeks of winter. Then the city later issued a statement saying only the mayor can translate Jimmy’s prediction.

Next, check out Scott Aaronson’s newest essay, which occurred on the same day, but 1000 miles away, in Boston, MA:

Quantum Machine Learning Algorithms: Read the Fine Print, by Scott Aaronson

Do read the fine print—he really means it: the whole paper is written in 9 point font.

Is Scott burying Lloyd or praising him? His essay does both.

This is Scott’s argument, his impeccable logic, in my own words: Seth Lloyd and his minions have proposed an algorithm for doing AI with a quantum computer. Their dodo bird algorithm could, under certain totally impractical circumstances, fly. To put it differently, their dodo bird is a very promising “template” for the evolution of flying birds, a veritable “mini-revolution” in aviation history. In fact, their dodo bird flies almost as well as … a chicken.

In this video, Matthias Troyer also points out that the AI algorithm proposed by Lloyd et al is virtually useless in its present form.

Scott doesn’t deign to mention the existence of other algorithms for doing AI with a quantum computer. For example, the annealer algorithms used by D-Wave/Google/NASA, or gate model algorithms (such as one proposed by Microsoft people and one proposed by me) based on Grover’s algorithm.

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