A New Law to Describe Quantum Computing’s Rise? (If true, everything changes…)

That rapid improvement has led to what’s being called “Neven’s law,” a new kind of rule to describe how quickly quantum computers are gaining on classical ones. The rule began as an in-house observation before Neven mentioned it in May at the Google Quantum Spring Symposium. There, he said that quantum computers are gaining computational power relative to classical ones at a “doubly exponential” rate — a staggeringly fast clip.
With double exponential growth, “it looks like nothing is happening, nothing is happening, and then whoops, suddenly you’re in a different world,” Neven said. “That’s what we’re experiencing here.”


Solving Elon Musk

To be fair, Elon isn’t a problem to be solved. He is just doing what he does –geeking out, innovating, living life. But as a fan of innovators and a student of markets, I can’t help but try to understand the motives of Mr. Musk. (Full disclosure: I’m a Elon Musk fan)

So, to speak presumptively, Elon probably has something close to a technological messiah complex. This isn’t bad, quite the contrary. We need brilliant people to care about the future. I agree with Tim Urban’s take on Elon. I’ll summarize: Start with a good outcome for humanity and work backwards. Why do I bring this up? Okay, I’ll jump to the big question:

Why did Elon buy Solar City?

Buying Solar City wrecked the balance sheet of Tesla, and placed the company in a much more difficult place. Of all the companies that Elon is involved in Solar City is the only one with no obvious technological edge. In fact, if Tesla wanted to be a one-stop-shop for all things carbon-free it would make more sense to simply partner/license the solar tech. Why buy Solar City?

The solar-tile? Me thinks not. Not enough innovation there.

To bail out cousins? Surely not, there are much more efficient ways to help family than to take over a struggling company.

To facilitate collaborative engineering between Tesla and Solar City? Maybe. This is supposed to be the year of solar-tile and the power-wall. But buying the company was unnecessary. Just do a deal with Solar City, but develop the power-wall as compatible with all solar units. Be Microsoft not Apple. And don’t take over a bunch of debt.

I believe that Mr. Musk was somehow thinking as a technological messiah, not a capitalist, when he did the Solar City deal. Now his shareholders are paying the price, and the risk-of-ruin for Tesla is substantially higher.

Whatever the case, this is the year where Solar City either makes sense, or doesn’t.

The productivity paradox – MIT Technology Review

All great general purpose technology changes produce huge booms and huge busts.

In this view, AI is what economic historians consider a “general-purpose technology.” These are inventions like the steam engine, electricity, and the ­internal-combustion engine. Eventually they transformed how we lived and worked. But businesses had to be reinvented, and other complementary technologies had to be created to exploit the breakthroughs. That took decades.

The mission of MIT Technology Review is to equip its audiences with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology.
— Read on www.technologyreview.com/s/611482/the-productivity-paradox/

A machine has figured out Rubik’s Cube all by itself – MIT Technology Review

…random turns of a Rubik’s Cube cannot easily be rewarded, since it is hard to judge whether the new configuration is any closer to a solution. And a sequence of random turns can go on for a long time without reaching a solution, so the end-state reward can only be offered rarely.
— Read on www.technologyreview.com/s/611281/a-machine-has-figured-out-rubiks-cube-all-by-itself/

New Evidence Shows Our Darkest Fears Can Be Rewired | Inverse

Extrapolate this science 50 Years and the world looks very different. The evils of the future may be very different than today.

Deep-seated fear memories can potentially be rewired, researchers say. A ‘Science’ paper published Thursday shows new evidence suggesting fearful memories that dwell deep in the brain’s neural circuitry don’t have to be a burden forever. It’s possible, the paper suggests, that they can be rewired.
— Read on www.inverse.com/article/45998-rewiring-fear-memories

Why the Future of Machine Learning is Tiny « Pete Warden’s blog

Photo by Kevin Steinhardt When Azeem asked me to give a talk at CogX, he asked me to focus on just a single point that I wanted the audience to take away. A few years ago my priority would have been convincing people that deep learning was a real revolution, not a fad, but there…
— Read on petewarden.com/2018/06/11/why-the-future-of-machine-learning-is-tiny/

Ultra-capacitor hybrid radically boosts power and efficiency of lithium batteries

Combining the unique strengths of lithium batteries with crazy-fast charging, carbon ultra-capacitors could save a ton of weight and add significant range and power to electric vehicles, according to this fascinating French startup.
— Read on newatlas.com/nawa-technologies-carbon-ultra-capacitor/54972/

Five Reasons We Don’t Know What the Future Will Look Like | AIER

Great work. Clear. Concise.

We love to prognosticate, but it’s impossible to do so without severely glossing over the complexities of the real world. That leads us to false dichotomies, like “Blockchain technology will change everything” versus “Blockchain is all hype.”
— Read on www.aier.org/article/five-reasons-we-dont-know-what-future-will-look

A stealthy Harvard startup wants to reverse aging in dogs, and humans could be next – MIT Technology Review

The real story is that serious people are chasing this…

Biologist George Church says the idea is to live to 130 in the body of a 22-year-old.
— Read on www.technologyreview.com/s/611018/a-stealthy-harvard-startup-wants-to-reverse-aging-in-dogs-and-humans-could-be-next/

Light could make semiconductor computers a million times faster or even go quantum | University of Michigan News

More to come…

By treating these states as ordinary 1 and 0, it could be possible to create a new kind of “lightwave” computer with the million-times-faster clock speeds that Kira mentioned. The first challenge along this route will be to use a train of laser pulses to “flip” the pseudospins at will.
— Read on news.umich.edu/light-could-make-semiconductor-computers-a-million-times-faster-or-even-go-quantum/