We do it because we must

Google produced a most excellent video introducing some of the folks working at the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. Here it is!

You can see some cool shots of our new facility in the piece, like this one.

Google and NASA make a short film to explain their quantum computing work

There are more that a dozen of these machines doing interesting things now. They are crunching away on everything from basic physics experiments, probing entanglement on scales that humans have never been able to before, to commercial applications of machine learning — like the wink detector in the Google Glass product.

There are some great memes in the video. One of my favorites was raised by Sergio Boixo. He says at 4:25,  ‘… [this machine] teaches us that we shouldn’t be naive about the world, and we shouldn’t think about the world as a simple machine. It forces us to consider more sophisticated notions of how the reality around us is actually shaped.’

This reminded me of a great bit that Neil DeGrasse Tyson did. Here he discusses what he calls ‘A fascinatingly disturbing thought’. Here’s a quote (the full version is here):

I lay awake at nights wondering whether simply we as a species are simply too stupid to figure out the Universe that we are investigating, and maybe we need some other species one percent smarter than we are, for which string theory would be intuitive, for which all the greatest mysteries of the Universe, from dark matter, dark energy, the origins of life, and all the frontiers of our thought, would be something that they would just self-intuit. I’m jealous of that possibility. Because I want to be around for those discoveries.

I feel a lot of sympathy for this position. It got me thinking that waiting for the “real one percenters” to show up might be dangerous. Maybe it’s a better strategy to try to create them. If only we had some type of quantum artificial intelligence…

6 thoughts on “We do it because we must

  1. Hello Geordie,
    I sent several messages to dwavesys.com but nobody replied.
    How can I get dwave_sapi developer package or register on dwavesys.com website?
    You have tutorials on your website, but you do not provide with packge to study and practice with those tutorials. Strange…
    Can you send me the package please? My e-mail: embasoft@gmail.com.

  2. Hi kairatker! The developer portal is closed — the developer pack is only available to people with access to a machine. The best way to get access would be to contact the managers of either the USC machine or the quantum ai lab.

  3. Pingback: Google and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab | DA6NCI

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