The microblog: 2021.05.17 12:19:26

2021.05.17 12:19:26 (1394236107353559040) from Daniel J. Bernstein, replying to "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)" (1393873751880654848):

Top of thread: "you're deceiving people into giving you money. That's unethical." I agree with you that this ethics problem would disappear if the deception disappeared. I don't agree with your claim that it's "a term with a simple clear technical meaning" and thus not deceptive.

2021.05.17 12:29:18 (1394238590041747462) from Daniel J. Bernstein:

The words "quantum" and "supremacy" have preexisting meanings, setting up a preexisting understanding of "quantum supremacy". This understanding doesn't match the Humpty Dumpty redefinition. You're also incorrect in saying this wasn't addressed already:


2021.05.09 21:14:40 (1391471701565665281) from Daniel J. Bernstein:

Scientists: Please stop using and condoning the phrase "quantum supremacy", even if you're confident that it has a clear definition and is a useful milestone and isn't confused with white supremacy. Why? Because you're deceiving people into giving you money. That's unethical.

2021.05.09 21:16:06 (1391472063483813888) from Daniel J. Bernstein:

Insisting you're free to redefine "quantum supremacy" to mean just what you choose it to mean is like insisting that you're free to redefine "Bourne supremacy" to refer to Matt Damon's scenes in Team America: World Police. Sorry, no, that isn't supremacy.

2021.05.16 12:13:13 (1393872155604131846) from "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)":

I think we're going in circles here. No one, not Preskill, not you, has given a reason why it is "deceptive" since it is a term with a simple clear technical meaning. Next you might worry about "facilitating hype" or "increasing funding" for a field, but

2021.05.16 12:15:32 (1393872737609949186) from "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)", replying to "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)" (1393872155604131846):

these are both also outcomes of accurately described and promising successful research. Of course we all don't like "hype" but what I've seen of the overoptimism involves things other than the phrase 'quantum supremacy', such as:

2021.05.16 12:17:48 (1393873307460677633) from "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)", replying to "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)" (1393872737609949186):

-not realizing that continued scaling will be hard -thinking that entanglement allows faster-than-light communication -thinking that BQP contains NP or even EXP (That's of course not how they write it.) With supremacy, you might worry about confusion about whether...

2021.05.16 12:19:34 (1393873751880654848) from "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)", replying to "Aram Harrow (@quantum_aram)" (1393873307460677633):

...the problem solved is a useful one. However, I just haven't seen this happen. Most articles I've seen are clear on the fact that the task is contrived. I'm open to evidence that we should change the term, but haven't seen it yet.