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I wonder if we had the same perspectives when comptuers were first established in the 50's/60's.

We couldn't possible foresee how these monster of a machines could possible fit in the palm of our hands and yet, now, it's hard to see how we couldn't see that far in front of us.

We had this famous quote from IBM but, I wonder if as an industry this was a common perspective. Or wether between those who were building these machines could foresee where we'd be now? Is there some one in Quantum Computing who has the intelligence and creativity to think, nah, we'll have giant refrigerated quantum computing mobile phones in 5x decades time (I understand Quantum Computers wouldn't make great phones I'm just drawing baseless comparisons :) )

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

= = = =

I only found out about wolframalpha a month ago and I'm still in awe of it. Quantum computing as a service? No idea what I'm going to want to do with it. But I re-watch this video by Veritasium and Andrea Morello from UNSW a couple of times a year to just remind myself how much I don't know.


Just as an aside, that quote is likely apocryphal. No one has ever been able to find actual evidence that he said this, and those close to him have rejected it as a false attribution. It was being recognized as a myth way back in the 1970s.

Even if he had said it, it was a very accurate statement at the time. Gordon Bell has noted that at the time he is claimed to have made that statement, it would have held essentially true for a decade. As something that would have likely been said (if said at all) in discussions around IBM's near-future business plans, or a sort of market analysis of the conditions at the time, it makes perfect sense.

See, this is why I would suck as a contestant on QI. Thank you. :)

Cooling chips to around room temp was an evolutionary process. Cooling chips to near absolute zero is another ball of physics entirely. I suspect it is like trying to have a pocket sized NMR machine, which needs liquid helium cooling etc. Those things can’t just be scaled down to pocket size.

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