Quantum Thought Leaders

For the many friends who’ve asked me to comment on the OpenAI drama: while there are many things I can’t say in public, I can say I feel relieved and happy that OpenAI still exists. This is simply because, when I think of what a world-leading AI effort could look... Read more
Published on: 2023-11-27
Mid-afternoon, one Saturday late in September, I forgot where I was. I forgot that I was visiting Seattle for the second time; I forgot that I’d just finished co-organizing a workshop partially about nuclear physics for the first time. I’d … Continue reading →... Read more
No, I don’t know what happened with Sam Altman, beyond what’s being reported all over the world’s press, which I’ve been reading along with everyone else. Ilya Sutskever does know, and I talk to Ilya nearly every week. But I know Ilya well enough to know that whatever he’d tell... Read more
Published on: 2023-11-18
I’ve been drowning in both quantum-computing-related and AI-related talks, interviews, podcasts, panels, and so on. These activities have all but taken over my days, leaving virtually no time for the actual research (especially once one factors in time for family, and time for getting depressed on social media). I’ve let... Read more
Published on: 2023-11-15
So, Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on all counts, after the jury deliberated for just a few hours. His former inner circle all pointed fingers at him, in exchange for immunity or reduced sentences, and their testimony doomed him. The most dramatic was the testimony of Caroline Ellison, the... Read more
Published on: 2023-11-06
Last night a colleague sent me a gracious message, wishing for the safe return of the hostages and expressing disgust over the antisemites in my comment section. I wanted to share my reply. You have no idea how much this means to me. I’ve just been shaking with anger after... Read more
Published on: 2023-10-30
The origin of life appears to share little with quantum computation, apart from the difficulty of achieving it and its potential for clickbait. Yet similar notions of complexity have recently garnered attention in both fields. Each topic’s researchers expect only … Continue reading →... Read more
Update: Every time another antisemite writes to me to excuse, justify, or celebrate Hamas’s orgy of murder and kidnapping, I make another donation to the Jewish Federations of North America to help Israeli terror victims, listing the antisemite’s name or alias in the “in honor of” field. By request, I’m... Read more
Published on: 2023-10-21
The purpose of this post is to salute a longtime friend-of-the-blog for a recent display of moral courage. Boaz Barak is one of the most creative complexity theorists and cryptographers in the world, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, and—I’m happy to report—soon (like me) to go on... Read more
Published on: 2023-10-10
My wife’s family is OK; thanks very much for asking. But yes, missiles are landing and sirens are going off in Tel Aviv, and people there regularly have to use their buildings’ bomb shelters. Of course, the main developments are further south, where at least seven hundred Israelis were murdered... Read more
Published on: 2023-10-09
This July, I came upon a museum called the Haus der Musik in one of Vienna’s former palaces. The museum contains a room dedicated to Johann Strauss II, king of the waltz. The room, dimly lit, resembles a twilit gazebo. … Continue reading →... Read more
Two postdoctoral positions are open for an exciting multidisciplinary project at the intersection of quantum transport and quantum optics. This is a collaborative project between Prof. Baugh’s group and the group of Prof. Michael Reimer, both at the Institute for Quantum Computing. Please see this link for details, and forward to anyone who... Read more
Here is an interview with John Donohue, Scientific Outreach Manager at IQC, regarding our recent work developing InSb heterostructures for topological quantum computing and other applications. It features work led by PhD student Annelise Bergeron, with many contributions from Dr. Francois Sfigakis, and in collaboration with the MBE group of Prof. Zbig Wasilewski.... Read more
The Silicon quantum electronics workshop held near Sherbrooke, QC, was a great meeting with many impressive results in the area of silicon spin qubits. Bohdan presented his talk on simulating small QI processors and a novel method of pulse design.  Tags: Coherent Spintronics Group... Read more
Tomorrow at 1:30pm US Central time, I’ll be doing an online Q&A with Collective[i] Forecast about quantum computing (probably there will also be questions about AI safety). It’s open to all. Hope to see some of you there! Toby Cubitt of University College London is visiting UT Austin. We’ve been... Read more
Published on: 2023-09-19
At the recent Quantum Thermodynamics conference in Vienna (coming next year to the University of Maryland!), during an expert panel Q&A session, one member of the audience asked “can quantum thermodynamics address foundational problems in quantum theory?” That stuck with … Continue reading →... Read more
Late in the summer of 2021, I visited a physics paradise in a physical paradise: the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). The KITP sits at the edge of the University of California, Santa Barbara like a bougainvillea bush at … Continue reading →... Read more
Ben Brubaker wrote a long piece for Quanta magazine about meta-complexity. The first three-quarters are a giant refresher on the story of computability and complexity theory in the 20th century—including Turing, Gödel, Shannon, Cook, Karp, Levin, Baker-Gill-Solovay, Sipser, Razborov, Rudich, and more. But then the last quarter gets into actually... Read more
Published on: 2023-08-21
I saw Oppenheimer three weeks ago, but I didn’t see Barbie until this past Friday. Now, my scheduled flight having been cancelled, I’m on multiple redeyes on my way to a workshop on Large Language Models at the Simons Institute in Berkeley, organized by my former adviser and quantum complexity... Read more
Published on: 2023-08-14
A couple nights ago Ernie Davis and I put out a paper entitled Testing GPT-4 on Wolfram Alpha and Code Interpreter plug-ins on math and science problems. Following on our DALL-E paper with Gary Marcus, this was another “adversarial collaboration” between me and Ernie. I’m on leave to work for... Read more
Published on: 2023-08-13