Yesterday was an eventful Groundhog Day.
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.
Related blog posts:
- Can Quantum Computers Do Machine Learning in General in Polynomial Time?!!!
- Gate Model and D-Wave Quantum Computers Go Mano a Mano Over Machine Learning