Free access to quantum computers for COVID-19 researchers

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Great PR move, but basically no scientific merit. To be charitable, the only thing of value that the D-Wave quantum processor does is let people experiment to try to predict how much better of a quantum computer they would need to do something actually useful that couldn’t be easily done on a conventional computer. This isn’t just true of D-wave, all other quantum computer services are in the same boat. But IBM doesn’t pretend that their system is useful for fighting infectious disease today. Or the haven’t yet, I guess there is still time to jump on the coronavirus exploitation bandwagon.

Luckily, I strongly suspect nobody who is actually useful in developing treatments for viruses is going to be fooled by this. Maybe they can let Martin Shkreli access their device from prison.


Quantum supremacy hasn’t been established yet, so like the person above me says: This is just PR. That’s not to denigrate them for giving researchers free computing time as that’s highly important and needed right now but current quantum computers aren’t any more efficient than existing supercomputers. There are also many more supercomputers and computer clusters available so getting access to compute time shouldn’t be an issue i hope.


To really hit all the buzzword checkboxes, they need to offer a covid themed blockchain currency.


This really is just all PR, and dumb as hell. It’s asking people with a real world problem to use your yet unproven technology, in the hopes you get some news coverage out of it.

If you want to throw processing power at the problem, something like “folding at home” is going to have far more of a chance of producing usable results:


RAND report finds that, like fusion power and Half Life 3, quantum computing is still 15 years away


Graph-enabled blockchain as a service running on quantum computers powered by fusion reactors (they’re right around the corner! I swear!) and financed by Elon Musk will save us all!


Cold fusion, duh.


As Newton understood; Popular Science is all about Optics. That, and the importance of the letter “k” in making stuff look cool.


I’m patiently waiting for Tepid Fusion


Even that is exaggerating. The dwave processor has been extensively studied and is known to not do anything practically useful in the sense if solving difficult problems. It’s not unproven it’s disproven. It’s only value in its current state is a research tool. I.e., you can see how noise and errors affect toy problems.

I was making a generalization about the state of quantum computing in a post I hammered out in 20 seconds. Forgive the lack of precision of language.

“This fusion is tepid.”

The word “tepid” always reminds me of the German Baby Joke.

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