Quantum Bayesian Networks

January 20, 2019

Bad Chemistry Between the 3 Quantum Chemistry Supremos

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:43 am

On Oct 2017, a year and 3 months ago, I reported in this blog on some news that was making the competition in quantum computing between Microsoft, Google and IBM, resemble, at least to me, a fierce, vicious Sea Battle between 3 avaricious sea superpowers. Think Battle of Trafalgar.

A year later, things have only gotten worse. These 3 superpowers are now engaged in what the French call a Mêlée à Trois, a truel instead of a duel, a situation that resembles the Three Kingdoms Period (220–280 A.D.) in the history of China, when China was divided into 3 kingdoms of similar size, each having an emperor who claimed that he ruled over all of China.

As an example, take a look at their war of supremacy over the use of quantum computers to do Chemistry.

Google has a qc Chemistry library called OpenFermion. To their credit, they wrote an arxiv paper on October 2017 describing it. https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.07629
Here is the header of that paper.

As you can see, the paper has more than 30 authors, and not a single one of them is from IBM or Microsoft. And if you visit the github repo for OpenFermion today, you can read a more recent list of contributors that again shows no trace of Microsoft or IBM.

Not only that, but that list of OpenFermion contributors doesn’t show the names of Matthias Troyer (Microsoft) or Aspuru-Guzik (Zapata), two famous people in the qc Chemistry world that are often included in such collaborations.

Microsoft has also written its own qc Chemistry library with no apparent help from the other 2 Kingdoms (MS did enlist the help and rely on the old software of a DOE lab situated in Washington state, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

About two weeks ago, IBM released their own qc chemistry library (qiskit-chemistry) and that one, once again, shows no hint of cooperation with the other 2 Kingdoms.

When I first started writing the Python version of Qubiter, I wrote some quantum chemistry code for Qubiter, but I soon sensed that the qc Chemistry community was very political and that those people would never welcome me or my software in their midst, so I stopped writing qc Chemistry software. Knowing now what has transpired since then, I think I made the right call then! Nowadays, I like to imagine our open-source software aggregator http://www.Bayesforge.com as a carrier pigeon, or a drone that flies high above several medieval, fortified, walled cities, taking messages from one to the other. The walled cities are called Microsoft, Google, IBM, Rigetti, IonQ etc.

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