Category Archives: breakthrough

quantum computing 2018½

hi all, its been a very busy year for QM computing and it seems as if an inflection point has been reached. google/ IBM are announcing designs with more than 50 qubits.[b] intel is getting into the game. there is a lot of recent innovation going on with qubits in silicon, a trend spotted here previously.[a2] simulation is a very big topic, there are two types: simulating QC calculations on a conventional computer, and using QC computers to simulate physics problems such as atomic or molecular interactions.[a4] as far as “combine trendy buzzwords” its sometimes AI + ML + QC.[a3] this seems to me to be “jumping the gun” because our QCs are not even that powerful yet, but its reasonable to explore more abstractly.

another hot topic is “quantum supremacy” the idea that QC computing can be demonstrated in some sense to be “faster” than conventional computing on “some/ any problem”.[c] that problem is now being defined a bit circularly by google et al as “quantum calculations” but nevertheless results are that supremacy by that metric is real at around 50 qubits in the sense that these calculations are out-of-reach of conventional machines. (the scientists among us know in complexity theory nothing is described in terms of constant threshholds, in fact they are rejected as meaningless, but theres always been a lot of handwaving in this field!)

another huge event was the launching of stackexchange quantum computing site which seems to be healthy so far and its sponsorship by the new unusual startup strangeworks.[f] another very big deal/ gamechanger/ milestone is that the US congress is discussing some QC related funding/ development legislation/ bills.[g]

almost 2 decades ago some of the 1st popsci books came out on quantum computing. a few of us read those. its energizing/ enthralling/ inspiring/ exciting that a “relatively short time” later today its now a worldwide reality being pursued by top corporations/ even leading govt research programs. the wild/ starry-eyed early promise has not yet materialized; a general purpose machine stills seems off in the distance, and its not yet clear a QM computer will have the same revolutionary economic impact as the integrated circuit/ microprocessor, but the technology is advancing steadily now and looks like it will have a permanent niche somewhere. as the old expr goes its gone from glimmer in the eye to something real and thats really something to celebrate.

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FLUID PARADIGM SHIFT 2018½

hi all. what if research into the interpretation of QM leads to a QM + GR path/ direction for unification? that is exactly the ambitious, overarching, but not inconceivable promise of the fluid paradigm of physics.

its been ~¾ a year since a last bold/ ambitious blog on copenhagen interpretation and new fluid ideas in quantum mechanics and physics.

at this point have blogged about ½ decade on some of these subjs and my neurons are really buzzing, crackling and snapping lately at full volume, the field is going thru an identifiable paradigm shift predicted years ago in this blog.

have collected a copious collection of new info/ leads, my links really runneth over. it really looks like nearly critical mass in some ways.

have been waiting to blog on this a few months and looking for an opportune moment. am expecting some massive signs to show up. many have already shown up. am finally deciding to write all this up at the near ½ year point.

one of the biggest signposts/ BREAKTHRUS is the new Becker book, What is Real, the Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.[a] havent bought it yet but its on the top of my to-read pile. this is causing big, maybe even massive waves in the mass/ popular media eg NYT but also the scientific journals such as Nature. its being reviewed by top experts positively. major response on social media such as reddit also. maybe a gamechanger.

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AI 2017 part 2 highlights/ trends

hi all. 2nd half AI in 2017 was very fast paced and as usual its hard to keep up. many headlines on the subj. this is a 2nd half review.

seems like some of the biggest news is the increasing dominance of China in the area after the govt announced major initiatives, funding, and resolve/ determination.[b]

google/ deepmind continues to dominate headlines.[a] the other big news is googles alphago and alphazero that no longer required human training games![a2] officially its under the name of “reinforcement learning” but my feeling is that this technology is something like “directed learning” where the AI is manipulating its environment to “detect/ seek/ digest novelty,” and that this will be a key, paradigm shifting trend in the near future. the same algorithm also works in chess/ go!

starcraft[a3] and Dota are starting to show up in AI engines/ research and OpenAI just announced breakthru championship level play vs humans in Dota, and Deepmind is attacking starcraft. despite all this major domination, it looks like games will not move out of cutting edge research anytime soon.[c4]

another notable shift/ trend is that AI/ machine learning is starting to couple stronger with physics and robotics. eg Deepmind humanoid walking simulations etc.

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secret/ blueprint/ path to AGI: novelty detection/ seeking

hi all. kurzweil wrote in 2006 “the singularity is near”. foreboding words! but today, still maybe more of a feeling than a fact. definitely, the AI field has started to mature into a new steady advance period/ era in the last few years, also with a burst of energy/ enthusiasm/ innovation heralded by the Google Deepmind acquisition in 2014, and other massive shifts toward increased investment by large corporations and govts. the Musk Open AI initiative was announced in 2015.

the other massive milestone is the ready conquering of Go by Google in 2016 by AlphaGo. in late 2017, a new version AlphaZero was announced that plays superior to AlphaGo (at “beyond human grandmaster level”) after learning merely from the rules and reinforcement learning, ie no example human-level play presented as training whatsoever. AlphaZero also plays grandmaster level chess after learning “from scratch”. this breakthrough is not fully/ widely appreciated in some ways. it is the first case of a potentially more general algorithm for AI emerging from “previously relatively narrow” study of AI in games.

AI has the terminology “weak AI” and “strong AI” for different levels/ sophistication/ “ability”. more recently the term AGI, Artificial General Intelligence has been coined.

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norbert blum P vs NP attack goes CYBER-SCIENCE-VIRAL!

⭐ 💡 ❗ 😀 😎 ❤ hi all! want to write a lot on this, have all kinds of impressions and things to say on one of my favorite topics in the world for 2½ decades now and which this blog is partly dedicated to, but am starting out by just collecting some links vacuumed up mostly today for others to check out, the top locations for commentary. unf there is not really a key/ central place so far where all the action is happening. will be adding to this post as time goes on. its very hard to figure out when to time a post wrt very fast moving developments like this, but my trigger just hit mostly right after RJLipton[a10] blogged about it. oh yeah, that comment by gowers that “I think it may reach the level where the experts feel that it needs to be checked” is highly triggering for me too (referring ofc to himself in 3rd person, maybe being more than a bit )( coy about this— doncha just love hardcore mathematicians! which reminds me of the joke about shoelaces…) … oh and then theres also fortnow who literally wrote the book on it! (oh yeah wrt that theres this by RJL too!) 😛

it looks like the Norbert Blum paper[a14][a15] basically went “pop/ scientific viral” today or so probably after mentions on Reddit[a8][a9] and Hacker News.[a11] of the experts Trevisan[a1] was the first to wager a reaction along with some curious onlookers like Baez[a2] and verging-on-jester-or-gadfly-or-even-troll Motl[a5] who along with some mild conspiracy theory about CS research(ers) (lol!) says, wrt the #1 top problem in TCS…

Except that unlike the case of string theory, there exists absolutely no rational evidence that there exists something stunning waiting to be discovered.

@#$% 😡 👿 ❗ whoa, fighting words and/ or near-sacrilege there! excuse me, what is “stunning” is that the problem with $1M prize over 1½ decade has eluded/ stymied/ thwarted the worlds greatest scientific minds for almost ½ century now! and the proof either way, in whatever shape or form, will be assuredly stunning to anyone who isnt jaded or a nihilist! hey physics bozo! think of a great experiment that guaranteed leads to an extraordinary answer either way! arent there any examples like that in your field anyway? or is maybe someone looking a little envious over there? or out of the loop or maybe dont even know how to flirt at all? :mrgreen:

the TCS stackexchange post by a n00b newbie (who didnt know enough to not ask! hows that for “zen beginners mind”?) is now up to 136-4 votes and 28K hits (thursday eve 8/17).[a3] (joy that the lame heavyhanded/ constricting/ dictatorial policy of the self-appointed cyber spoilsports and partypoopers also long criticized here in this blog, is overruled by striking mass opposition!) that post slipped my radar for a few days! found the paper on the 1st day (monday this wk) but thought it might stay “unviral” (you know, like those killer viruses locked in the… thawing… arctic, right?) based esp on the last Hauptmann attempt.[a12][a13]

discovered the big commotion today via reddit myself and spent excited hours poking through sites! but my hits on the Hauptmann blog post had been creeping/ climbing up massively all week, merely from google searches (many from germany), and figured it was due to questions on the Blum attempt. turns out theyre both profs at the same university! (Bonn/ Germany) pardon me but wtf?!?… some kind of story there eh? are any reporters listening?

cyberspace is such a joy sometimes, in my quasi-bipolar days, mostly-sometimes seemingly very flat for days, weeks, months, even years at a time, this is a massive manic spike for me… the adrenalin is flowing! didnt sleep as well this week! there is so much cybersynchronicity to this, must admit, its a very rare event, am myself (and defensively, some others are too) having a bit of a mini-cyber-orgasm so far… 💡 😮 o_O 🙄 ❗

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