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Disclaimer: I work at AWS, but this post isn't being made in any sort of official capacity, I have no relation to the team in question (this is the first I've even heard of the service), and the opinions here are entirely my own and not necessarily a reflection of that of my employer.

> I wonder what kind of future this spells for quantum computing - will it continue to spread or will it be limited/stunted by being controlled by only the few?

I feel like this is a step in the right direction, though. Right now using quantum computers is totally outside of the realm of possibility for the vast majority of people - they're simply too expensive in materials cost, expertise to create, conditions for operation, etc. etc. etc. - without services like this one. The only chance an "everyday" person has to try out a quantum computer is to rent time on someone's else's.

I don't think at a similar point in the life of classical computers we had options like this that were readily available - you could rent time on the computers, but I can't imagine that getting access to them was as easy as it will be today with the internet being a thing and service providers offering high granularity on billing.

My understanding (and I'm not even remotely an expert, so I could be totally off base here!) is that it's an open question on whether or not quantum computing will ever even be doable in environments where classical computing works - it might not be within the realm of what physics allows for it ever to be possible to have a quantum computer powered smartphone.

I hope access is ubiquitous someday for people, but in general I feel like this is a good step while that's not practical.






> an "everyday" person has to try out a quantum computer

what would an everyday person do on a qc?


Well, practical QC seems to be involved with optimization problems. D-Wave recently demonstrated doing something with bus routing for Volkswagen. I could imagine, say, a map service scaling that out by integrating QC into their route-finding for drivers to cooperatively improve traffic flow by finding optimal solutions to problems of a scale that is intractable with classical systems.

The everyday person will use QC like they "use" machine learning today: from a very high level abstract viewpoint, where services they consume have a little bit of intelligence that makes interacting with them more efficient.


Yeah, but what kind of optimization problem where an exact solution is intractable also doesn't have approximate algorithms that are good enough?

D-Wave has never demonstrated quantum speedup. Many doubt that their approach can be useful, even in theory.

Meh, sounds like overly negative propaganda to me. Clearly they're building up a big body of knowledge and have a lot of potential, as long as someone can figure out a practical application for the kinds of optimization problems their machine is good at.

It seems like neural networks should map to it well. Once the degree of connectivity and the number of qubits approaches the millions, there's no way any normal software solver is going to be able to keep up with it.


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