(MIT.TechnologyReview) Gideon Lichfield of MIT’s Technology Review interviews Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, about the recent ‘quantum supremacy’ announcement. Pichai compares to the 12-second first flight by the Wright brothers. Lichfield spoke to him to understand why Google has already spent 13 years on a project that could take another decade or more to pay off.
Lichfield also noted that the interview was recorded before IBM published a paper disputing Google’s quantum supremacy claim.
Lichfield questioned the narrowness of the specific task and asked what will it take to get to a wider demonstration of quantum supremacy? Pichai explained, “You would need to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer with more qubits so that you can generalize it better, execute it for longer periods of time, and hence be able to run more complex algorithms. But you know, if in any field you have a breakthrough, you start somewhere.”
Lichfield questioned “Why as the CEO of Google so excited about this? Briefly restating Pichai responded, “The reason I’m excited about a milestone like this is that, while things take a long time, it’s these milestones that drive progress in the field. .. . . But each milestone rewards the people who are working on it and attracts a whole new generation to the field. That’s how humanity makes progress.

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