Cheat Sheet for Quantum Computing Hype

This informal paper lists a collection of words, terms, and phrases which are indicators for hype in quantum computing. Hype being short for hyperbole, except that true hyperbole is not intended to be taken literally, while hype is passed off as if it were indeed literal truth. Hype is language intended to exaggerate or otherwise mislead readers about the technology. It can be quite tempting and even fun to read, but it interferes with real progress of any emerging field in which it is used. Please… Don’t do it! Please stick to normal, plain language, as boring as that may seem.

Hype can occur in a number of contexts, including but not limited to:

  1. Vendor press releases.
  2. Vendor web sites.
  3. Vendor social media posts.
  4. Analysts.
  5. Pundits.
  6. General media. Generally they may deserve a free pass since they don’t know any better.
  7. Technology media. They never deserve a free pass since they do or should know better.
  8. Blogs. Random individuals who may or may not know better. Professionals in the field should know better. Others, not so much.
  9. Academic papers. Less common, but too often hype does creep in, touting future progress and benefits which have not yet been proven.

The list is alphabetically ordered, not intended to indicate the severity of the hype.

The list of hype words, terms, and phrases for quantum computing:

  1. Accelerate. That’s a fine and laudable sentiment, but how can you really tell? Relative to what? What metrics for judging pace? Likely none.
  2. Advanced. Well of course it is — everything we do is advanced. Including or adding the word adds no essential meaning and is usually just intended to puff up the significance of the technology. Great way to turn the seemingly mundane into the superlative.
  3. Analog quantum computer. Or a physics or chemistry simulator. A special-purpose quantum computing device, which could be useful if it indeed matches your particular needs, but is not a general-purpose quantum computer. Frequently used as if the quantum computing device were a general-purpose quantum computer when in fact it is not.
  4. Bigger than fire, bigger than the discovery of fire. Well… I’m not convinced at this stage. There’s really no good excuse to use language such as this, other than to engage in hype. Just focus on the actual or specifically expected benefits.
  5. Breakthrough. More likely it is just incremental progress or achieving a milestone, not a true breakthrough.
  6. Coming era. Don’t believe it until it gets here and is readily apparent in the here and now
  7. Companies are already benefiting from quantum advantage. Not quite. Not even close. Companies are investigating quantum computing, and doing research, prototyping, and experimentation, but production deployment at production scale and achievement of true and dramatic quantum advantage is still a distant promise.
  8. Compelling. Your participation should be strictly voluntary, consensual, and based on your own evaluation of merit — nobody should feel or do anything based on being compelled in any way. You, the reader, are the sole arbiter of whether a technology is compelling, not the vendor, media, or some pundit.
  9. Democratization. Really just accessibility. A misuse of the term democracy. Bastardizing a very powerful and meaningful concept — democracy, the power of voting, the power of running for elective office, and the people being in charge of their own governance, not an unelected elite — and turning it into a mere marketing gimmick. More properly I think people mean the “consumerization” or “mass consumption” of quantum — access for consumption, the way we go to supermarkets or access websites on the Internet using cheap access devices even when expensive but shared servers provide the service. Or, maybe it is really just meaning to refer to popularization, engendering mass appeal, to make it appeal to the masses.
  10. Fault-tolerant quantum computing. Roughly synonymous with quantum error correction (QEC) and perfect logical qubits. It’s a real and meaningful concept, but… Still far enough off in the future that we shouldn’t even be talking about it as if it were available in the here and now or likely to be in the relatively near future. Maybe in three to five years, and possibly longer.
  11. Full-stack quantum computing vendors. Being touted (hyped) as an advantage for a single vendor to supply both hardware and all software, but it’s really a negative, not a beneficial positive. In the old days, each classical computer vendor supplied all their own software, including, operating system, system utilities, and compilers. But once Intel and DOS and then Windows, and then Unix came along, vendors recognized the power and advantage of focusing on hardware performance and features, leaving all software to software-only vendors. Being full-stack is a limiting condition of the current quantum computing landscape, not a beneficial feature. In fact, already, people are recognizing the power and benefits of software, quantum algorithms, and quantum applications which are hardware-independent and hardware-agnostic. Even IBM recognizes that Qiskit has value above and beyond IBM’s own quantum hardware. If you see a quantum hardware vendor gobble up a promising quantum software, algorithm, or application startup, that’s a very bad thing, not a good thing — don’t get suckered in by hype which insists that it’s a great thing. Note that Apple is an exception, but a very rare exception — and they’re not in quantum computing, yet
  12. The future of computing is here. Jumping the gun here. The future is still years in the future, not here and now. Sure, people have a vision of what quantum computing could or should be in the years and decades ahead, but a vision of the future is not reality in the here and now.
  13. Future quantum computers will break state-of-the-art encryption methods such as RSA. That’s purely speculative, not a slam-dunk certainty, even though it is a very widespread belief. Claiming that something is an absolute certainty — “will break” — is pure… hype. My personal analysis is that Shor’s factoring algorithm, or any other similar algorithm which relies on very fine granularity of phase or probability amplitude, is very unlikely to ever be able to crack public key encryption for large encryption keys or 2048 or 4096 bits due to practical physical limits of digital to analog conversion. For more detail, see my informal paper, Is Lack of Fine Granularity of Phase and Probability Amplitude the Fatal Achilles Heel Which Dooms Quantum Computing to Severely Limited Utility?
  14. Gamechanger, game-changing, a complete gamechanger. People like to claim or say that, but only time can tell. Not so easy to predict in advance. Generally this is simply wishful thinking.
  15. General-purpose quantum computer. Well, technically, no quantum computer (processor) is truly a general-purpose computer since even the most general-purpose quantum computer (processor) is really just a coprocessor for a relatively limited repertoire of computing, a small subset of what even the simplest classical Turing machines can compute. A true universal quantum computer would change this, but that’s too far into the future to be considered much more than… hype, at this stage. For now, the term general-purpose quantum computer simply means capable of supporting the full range of applications and application categories which quantum computing promises to support, as opposed to a special-purpose quantum computer or computing device or a single-function quantum computer or computing device which can support only a fraction of the full set of applications which a general-purpose quantum computer can handle.
  16. Harness the full potential of quantum. A vague, ill-defined, and contrived concept. How would we know what the full potential really is? How would we measure it? How would we know whether we have indeed achieved that full potential? What good comes from talking like this?
  17. Help solve the world’s most complex problems. Granted, this is not as hype-y as indicating that quantum computers can actually solve all of the world’s most complex problems, but it’s still implying that all of the world’s most complex problems can indeed be solved with the aid of quantum computers, which cannot be substantiated, so it’s… still hype.
  18. Historical moment. That’s for historians to decide based on careful, neutral reflection, not those involved in the moment — and with a vested interest.
  19. How we can transform industries. Not likely, not with computing alone. Example of exaggeration. No justification given. Mere posturing. Just… hype.
  20. Hundreds of qubits. Although we’re getting there and IBM has actually unveiled such a quantum processor, the qubit quality, qubit connectivity, and sophistication of quantum algorithms is not even close to allowing users to make effective use of that many qubits. Maybe in four to five to seven years the qubit quality, qubit connectivity, and sophistication of quantum algorithms might catch up and enable use of hundreds of qubits. No real value to talking about such a distant future at this stage, other than simply to hype quantum computing.
  21. If we’re going to change the world we’re going to need billions of qubits. Gross exaggeration, probably intended to exclude various competitors and their technology. In my estimation, even as few as 48 qubits could conceivably enable a significant degree of quantum advantage — 1,000,000X a classical solution, which should be enough to possibly change the world, at least in some minor way.
  22. Innovative. Of course it is — that’s all we do in the tech sector! Simply trying to over-inflate the significance of the technology.
  23. It’s not hype. It’s not just hype. Famous last words. If people feel the need to deny that their claim is hype, then it is likely indeed hype.
  24. It’s time to take quantum out of the lab and move from quantum hype to quantum deployed. As if quantum hype was a reasonable stage of affairs.
  25. Largest technological leap in human history. I kind of doubt that! Maybe it is the largest leap of hype in human history!
  26. Logical qubits. The consequence of full quantum error correction (QEC) — qubits with virtually no errors. QEC and logical qubits are still far too far off in the future to be anything other than hype at this stage. It is a great promise, but nowhere near to being an imminent reality.
  27. Massive scale. Massive implies exaggeration. Just state what the scale actually is.
  28. Maybe sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  29. Millions of qubits. Not anytime soon. Maybe in five to seven to ten years. No real value to talking about such a distant future at this stage, other than simply to hype quantum computing.
  30. Move from quantum hype to quantum deployed. As if quantum hype was a reasonable stage of affairs. And as if quantum deployed was a real thing — you can deploy an application or deploy a solution, but a technology (or hype!) by itself cannot be deployed, except in a rhetorical sense, which is just… more hype.
  31. A new frontier of humanity. Gross exaggeration and mischaracterization. Sure, it’s a new frontier for computing and for research, but not a frontier for humanity itself. Some solutions based on the technology may apply to humanity, but not the technology itself.
  32. The next big thing. Always hype. Just talk about the actual benefits of a technology. Big is always relative. Leave it to the actual customers and users to decide for themselves how significant a technology is — to them.
  33. NISQ quantum computer. In fact, most of the current quantum computers are not technically NISQ devicesnoisy intermediate-scale quantum devices — since they have fewer than 50 qubits, while intermediate-scale is defined as from 50 to a few hundred qubits. Personally, I would call smaller quantum computers with fewer than 50 qubits NSSQ devicesnoisy small-scale quantum devices.
  34. Now is the time. Not necessarily. Focus on your own needs, and the maturity of the technology, not the needs of the vendor to market their products.
  35. Optimism. Optimistic. Flimsy excuse for exaggerated claims which are really just hype.
  36. Our most-performant system yet. Okay, if it were true, but just hype if that claim can’t be substantiated or is clearly in conflict with the facts. Even worse if most-performant is intended to imply or suggest or is read by unsuspecting readers as if it meant highest performance since performant generally simply means that a system does its overall job well, while performance is a clear reference to speed alone. Performance is distinct from capacity, function, and quality. Generally people are looking for performance in their quantum computer (and may likely be looking for capacity, function, and quality as well), so being performant alone does not necessarily mean that the performance specifically is superior.
  37. Perfect logical qubits. Redundant — logical qubits are (virtually) perfect by definition. The consequence of full quantum error correction (QEC) — qubits with virtually no errors. QEC and logical qubits are still far too far off in the future to be anything other than hype at this stage. It is a great promise, but nowhere near to being an imminent reality.
  38. Perfect qubits. Hype term for qubits which have a relatively low error rate, like 1%. Nowhere near close to being perfect (error free), so somewhat misleading.
  39. Photonic quantum computer, photonic quantum computing. Sounds quite appealing since photons are so perfect, resilient, and generally awesome, but… these are special-purpose devices, not general-purpose quantum computers. If they actually do fit your needs, great, but don’t imagine (or fantasize) that they are general-purpose quantum computers, such as with superconducting transmon qubits or trapped-ion qubits. Sure, technically, maybe in theory, someday, somebody might build a photonic quantum computing device which actually is truly general purpose, but that’s mere speculation — and therefore hype until it actually happens or is actually imminent, and even then all pre-existing photonic quantum computing devices will remain special purpose. Whether fusion-based photonic quantum computing devices end up being truly general purpose also remains debatable and speculative — and hence hype to the extent that people talk about it as if it was real and proven to be general purpose and practical, which it presently is not and shows no signs of being imminent and practical. In short, photonic quantum computing is the epitome of hype at its worst! Sure, that could eventually change, but until it does change, it remains hype. Let’s just call photonic quantum computing what it really is — a research topic. I’m all in favor of research, much more research, but hype is about people talking about technology as if it has advanced beyond research, which clearly it has not in the case of general-purpose photonic quantum computing.
  40. Pioneering vision. More likely simply stating the obvious.
  41. Poised to become the most enthusiastic users of quantum computers. Poised implies a readiness for prompt action, action which is imminent, as in at any moment, really, really soon, not years or indefinitely far in the future. Enthusiastic? Well, that needs to be judged after the fact, when enthusiasm can actually be palpably detected and observed, not imagined well in the future. This is hype, not a statement of fact or a definitively assured outcome.
  42. Post-quantum cryptography. Misleading since it is not after quantum computing (which is what post implies), but during quantum computing. Engenders a misleading characterization of what quantum computing is all about. Quantum-safe cryptography or quantum-secure cryptography are more accurate terms.
  43. Post-quantum cybersecurity threats loom large. Exaggeration. “Loom” means, according to the dictionary, that some event is impending (or exaggerated.) Any cybersecurity threats from quantum are not on the near-term horizon, so they are not impending, so not looming.
  44. Powerful. Yeah, of course it is. Look for the details of the power, not the rhetorical claim.
  45. Practical uses of the technology are just around the corner. Just around the corner are words which are always a tell for hype. The real problem is that just like when you’re lost in a maze, there are so many corners, each of which seems like it might be the one, the last one.
  46. Race to save the Internet from quantum hackers. It’s not a “race” if it’s a hypothetical event that would be quite a few years away even if it did happen — and it’s unlikely to happen, at all, ever.
  47. Quantum advantage. Unless it is carefully and specifically quantified. What is the specific advantage, and is it really a large enough advantage to warrant attention as anything other than… hype?
  48. Quantum algorithms are used to analyze and process large datasets. No, quantum algorithms cannot access large datasets. Quantum circuits cannot do I/O, read or write files, access databases, or access network resources or services. All input data must be encoded in the gate structure of the quantum circuit, dramatically limiting the input data size. Sure, you can have classical code which accesses your large data set and then passes a small amount of data to a quantum algorithm, but the quantum circuit can’t exploit quantum parallelism over the large dataset, just the solution space for that small amount of input data. Sorry, quantum computing is not a good fit for Big Data unless the processing required for each data item is very large, and the data items are relatively small. See my informal paper, Little Data With a Big Solution Space — the Sweet Spot for Quantum Computing.
  49. Quantum algorithms can tackle these combinatorial problems far more effectively than traditional computers can. Or at least that’s the claim, the implied promise, but we don’t have any real evidence to back up this claim, yet. So, for now, and for the indefinite future, this claim remains… hype.
  50. Quantum bubble. Sure, maybe at some stage quantum computing will get to over-investment, but we’re not close to being there yet. Talking as if we’re currently in a quantum bubble is itself quantum hype, or anti-hype if you wish. Ask me again in two to three years, but not now, the coming months, or next year.
  51. Quantum changes everything. No, it doesn’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  52. Quantum computer. It may be a quantum computing device, but is it really a general-purpose quantum computer? Is it gate based? Is it special-purpose? Is it single-function? So-called photonic quantum computers tend to be special-purpose, not general-purpose quantum computers. Bosonic sampling devices. Quantum annealing devices. Analog quantum computers. Fine, if you really just need a specialized device which meets your specialized needs, but don’t presume that the device is truly general purpose just because it is claimed to be a quantum computer.
  53. Quantum computers may be able to break Bitcoin sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  54. Quantum computers will change everything. No, they won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  55. Quantum computers will change the world. No, they won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  56. Quantum computers will make everything faster. Simple exaggeration, the primary form of hype. Some things will be a little faster (maybe.) Some things will be moderately faster. Some things will be much, much faster (maybe.) But… some things are just not a good fit for quantum computing at all. Some things will exceed even the capabilities and capacity of the most ideal quantum computer. And we may not know in advance what specific benefit a quantum computer may offer.
  57. Quantum computing can radically change the world. Technically, this is less hype-y than quantum computing will radically change the world since it uses “can” (or “could”) which is simultaneously speculative but allows for the possibility that the change might not happen. But, the distinction between “can” and “will” may be lost on many readers, so this does still need to be classified as hype. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  58. Quantum computing can radically change the world. Technically, this is less hype-y than quantum computing will radically change the world since it uses “can” (or “could”) which is simultaneously speculative but allows for the possibility that the change might not happen. But, the distinction between “can” and “will” may be lost on many readers, so this does still need to be classified as hype. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  59. Quantum computing can save the planet. There’s no detailed and robust analysis or proof that quantum computing can indeed definitively save the planet.
  60. Quantum computing changes everything. No, it doesn’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  61. Quantum computing coming sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  62. Quantum computing could change the world. Technically, this is less hype-y than quantum computing will change the world since it uses “could” which is simultaneously speculative but allows for the possibility that the change might not happen. But, the distinction between “could” and “will” may be lost on many readers, so this does still need to be classified as hype. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  63. Quantum computing device. Sounds like a general-purpose quantum computer, but that is not always the case. Read the fine print — or literally read between the lines. Sometimes these are special-purpose or single-function quantum computing devices rather than being truly and fully general-purpose. If they actually do fit your needs, great, but don’t imagine (or fantasize) that they are general-purpose quantum computers, such as with superconducting transmon qubits or trapped-ion qubits.
  64. Quantum computing’s impact could come sooner than you think. Quantum computing’s impact may come sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  65. Quantum computing is already changing the world. Hardly. Not even close. Pure hype. Not based on any real evidence of any substantial and notable change.
  66. Quantum computing just might save the planet. Well, it does say might, so it’s not as bad as saying that quantum computing will save the planet, but it’s still an exaggeration, so it’s still hype.
  67. Quantum computing may be a reality sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  68. Quantum computing might be here sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  69. Quantum computing opens up the next frontier in computing power. Speaking about the future as if it were the present is very definitely hype.
  70. Quantum computing will be bigger than fire, quantum computing will be bigger than the discovery of fire. Well… I’m not convinced at this stage. There’s really no good excuse to use language such as this, other than to engage in hype. Just focus on the actual or specifically expected benefits.
  71. Quantum computing will change everything. No, it won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  72. Quantum computing will change our lives. Rather vague, vacuous, and sounds too definitive — not everyone’s life will be changed. How is it going to change our lives — a little specificity would be helpful? All for the good? Is it a mixed blessing, with some bad and ugly changes mixed in? Better to indicate specific benefits, in a specific timeframe, and for a specific audience. But, that would undermine its value as… hype.
  73. Quantum computing will change the world. As noted below (see will), be very careful about making definitive statements about the future. Better to use a safe-harbor forward-looking statement which expresses at least some uncertainty, such as quantum computing can change the world or could change the world or may change the world. Sure, quantum computing will likely make at least some change in the world, but will it really make the kind of monumental changes that a lot of people claim? Sure, it could, but then say that. This is what hype is all about — overstating the prospects and their certainty for the future.
  74. Quantum computing will radically change the world. No, it won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  75. Quantum deployed. As if quantum deployed was a real thing — you can deploy an application or deploy a solution, but a technology (or hype!) by itself cannot be deployed, except in a rhetorical sense, which is just… more hype.
  76. The quantum economy. No, there is not a distinct economy for quantum. Quantum is a sector, industry, or field, but not an economy. An economy encompasses all sectors, industries, and fields, not focusing on just one of them. More properly refer to the quantum computing sector or the quantum information technology sectors.
  77. Quantum error correction (QEC). A very sophisticated research topic that is still years from potential fruition and might not even be feasible or practical. Often confused or conflated with error mitigation, which is a relatively simple manual technique for dealing with the simpler errors that are common in current quantum computers. Full, automatic, and transparent QEC is still far too far off in the future to be anything other than hype at this stage. It is a great promise, but nowhere near to being an imminent reality.
  78. Quantum hype. Sure, there’s plenty of hype about quantum computing, as this informal paper attests, but it would be unwise to go so far as to suggest that all of quantum computing is pure hype through and through, as some are suggesting, a form of anti-hype if you wish.
  79. Quantum-inspired. That’s a real thing, but have they really done it? Look to the details and carefully evaluate any meaningful and significant advantage of whatever it is that is claimed to be quantum-inspired.
  80. Quantum Internet. An area of intense research, but in truth nobody really knows what it should even look like, let alone how it should work. By all means, we should be funding and supporting research in this area, but any claims of this technology being ready for use in the real world should be treated as… pure hype. And don’t confuse quantum Internet with quantum networking or quantum communication — they are three distinct concepts.
  81. Quantum internet could change everything. Technically, this is less hype-y than quantum internet will change everything since it uses “could” which is simultaneously speculative but allows for the possibility that the change might not happen. But, the distinction between “could” and “will” may be lost on many readers, so this does still need to be classified as hype. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  82. Quantum internet will change everything. No, it won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  83. Quantum is here now. In some limited, narrow, and specialized ways, maybe, but in a generalized way fulfilling many of the promises of quantum computing, no. Generally pure hype. Technically, “quantum” is vague since it may refer to quantum computing alone or specifically, or it may refer to any or all of the areas of quantum information science, quantum mechanics, or quantum effects — quantum sensing in fact is here today, now, even if more than a tiny fraction of the full promise of quantum computing is not.
  84. Quantum is Now! Not really! Much research is still required, on hardware, software, tools, algorithms, and applications. Sure, there are some aspects of quantum computing available now, but not in any wholesale sense that would enable immediate widespread adoption, development, and production-scale production deployment of quantum algorithms and quantum applications.
  85. Quantum Ready. Yeah, but ready for what exactly? Are you really ready for uncertainty and the evolution of a rapidly-changing landscape? Classic hype — it doesn’t tell you anything useful, but merely seeks to arouse and excite you, to move you from inaction to actions.
  86. Quantum revolution that will change everything. No, it won’t. See Quantum computing will change the world.
  87. Quantum-safe. Vague, ill-defined, and contrived concept seeming to imply that a quantum computer would be unable to crack whatever encryption scheme is being used to protect data. In truth, nobody knows if any particular encryption scheme is quantum-safe. There is no metric or method for determining if some data is quantum-safe. The term is intended to give people a perception and feeling that they and their data are safe even though that isn’t even theoretically possible. All we can do is to present the illusion of safety. An impression, not a reality. Quantum-safe can be claimed, but there is no way to make sure. There is no way to confirm quantum-safe.
  88. Quantum supremacy. Technically, this is a valid concept — that a quantum computer is capable of a task that no classical computer can accomplish even in many years, decades, or centuries. But… the issue here is that it needs to be a practical task, not some contrived and artificial computer science experiment, which is the difficulty with claims of quantum supremacy which were made in 2019. Quantum advantage is a more moderate term, indicating that a quantum computer completes a task sufficiently better (faster) than a classical computer, but even then it’s debatable how much better is sufficient to warrant a claim of achieving quantum advantage that isn’t really just… hype.
  89. Quantum threats exist now. No, they don’t. Not even close. Usually a reference to a belief that Shor’s factoring algorithm can be successfully used to crack 2048 and 4096-bit public encryption keys. Shor’s algorithm cannot be implemented for those key sizes today, in the near future, in the medium future, and it appears likely not even in the long-term future. Even the so-called Harvest now, decrypt later strategy is not a current threat — no encrypted data is under threat “now.” And as I said, it’s unlikely that Shor’s factoring algorithm will ever be feasible for large key sizes. For some commentary, see my informal paper, Is Lack of Fine Granularity of Phase and Probability Amplitude the Fatal Achilles Heel Which Dooms Quantum Computing to Severely Limited Utility?
  90. Quantum tipping point. Vague, ill-defined, contrived concept, unconnected to reality. Heard at Davos 2023: “But we don’t know exactly when this quantum tipping point is going to be.” Or what it’s going to be, or how we can tell if it’s happening, about to happen, or has already happened.
  91. Quantum winter. It is indeed possible that investment and interest in quantum computing could contract dramatically at some stage, possibly a few years from now, but not anytime soon, not in the coming months or next year or even the year after that. Any talk about a quantum winter as if it were imminent is… pure negative hype, or anti-hype if you wish. I personally do feel the risks are rising, but not for the next couple of years. For more, read my informal paper, Risk Is Rising for a Quantum Winter for Quantum Computing in Two to Three Years.
  92. The remaining challenges are mostly engineering ones, rather than scientific. Yeah, right… NOT! They said that back in 2017 (The Economist.) So, then, why is there so much research going on?! It may hinge on whether you distinguish theoretical research, fundamental research, experimental research, and applied research. We still need a lot of work in all of the areas, but some people may consider anything beyond theoretical and fundamental research as mere engineering.
  93. Remarkable. Just be specific about what details or qualities are notable without characterizing them in such an exaggerated manner.
  94. Sci-fi computing. Shameless attempt to puff up quantum computing. Just lame hype. Just call it quantum computing and get people used to the term.
  95. Seamless transition. It wouldn’t be a transition if it was truly seamless!
  96. Solve all unsolved problems. Not even close! Maybe solve some unsolved problems, but even a quantum computer has limits.
  97. Solve the world’s most complex problems. Well, sorry, but there are many problems which can’t even be solved with the exponential speedup of a quantum computer. Maybe if they had just said “Solve SOME of the world’s most complex problems” they wouldn’t be as guilty of hype, but, no, they have to go and imply that quantum computers can solve ALL of the world’s most complex problems.
  98. Solving the most complex problems our world has to offer. Too vague. Too all-encompassing. Too big a promise. Limit claims to specific solutions which have already been implemented — when that actually happens.
  99. Sooner than you think. How could you possibly know what I or anyone else really thinks?! Just mindless, meaningless hype — rhetoric. If it really was sooner than somebody thought, they’d be able to say at least roughly when that specifically was supposed to be. Beware of empty, non-specific rhetoric!
  100. Spin qubits. An area of significant active research, and does appear to be getting close to practicality, but just not close enough to be useful in the near term. Could be another year or two or three or four or five. No real value to talking about such a distant future at this stage, other than simply to hype that particular qubit technology and to hype quantum computing or a particular vendor in general.
  101. A technology that is set to transform pretty much everything. Set? Hardly! It’s not that definitive and so certain and guaranteed, as claimed. Wild, exaggerated, unjustified claim. This is actually a succinct summary of the hype about quantum computing, that it will change everything.
  102. The time to act is now. These words are always hype, regardless of the topic.
  103. They have to, they have to hype. Odd belief that hype is necessary, such as when competing for venture capital funding.
  104. This is going to set the course of human history going forward. Not very likely. Example of exaggeration. No justification given. Mere posturing. Just… hype.
  105. This is the year that it happens. Another vague, ill-defined, contrived concept. Heard at Davos 2023: “There’s no way to predict that. The math doesn’t work.
  106. Thousands of qubits. Actually looks possible in two to four years, but… even if that many raw qubits are produced, the qubit quality, qubit connectivity, and sophistication of quantum algorithms is not so likely to keep pace, resulting in a large number of qubits which can’t effectively be used. Maybe in five to seven to ten years the qubit quality, qubit connectivity, and sophistication of quantum algorithms might catch up and enable use of thousands of qubits. No real value to talking about such a distant future at this stage, other than simply to hype quantum computing.
  107. Topological qubits. An area of significant active research, but nowhere near close to practicality. No real value to talking about such a distant future at this stage, other than simply to hype that particular qubit technology and to hype quantum computing in general.
  108. Unbelievable. Then don’t believe it.
  109. Unimaginable. Said by people who lack imagination.
  110. Unprecedented. New technologies may indeed be unprecedented, by definition, so it’s not adding any essential meaning. Usually said to make a technology or a development seem more important than it really is. It may indeed be unprecedented, but so what — how would the lack of precedent imply some greater value to the customer?
  111. Useful applications for quantum computers such as medicine and materials research can only be achieved once we can integrate millions of qubits. Gross exaggeration, probably intended to exclude various competitors and their technology. In my estimation, even as few as 48 qubits could conceivably enable a significant degree of quantum advantage — 1,000,000X a classical solution.
  112. Variational methods, variational quantum algorithms, quantum variational algorithms. They can work, sort of, but they fail to exploit full quantum parallelism since they are iterative, by definition. They do enable quantum computers to perform complex tasks, sort of, but their iterative nature and failure to fully exploit quantum parallelism means they will fail to deliver much if any significant quantum advantage over classical computing. Often used because the preferred technique, quantum phase estimation (QPE), cannot yet be practically implemented on today’s noisy and limited NISQ quantum computers. These terms are hype because people use them to suggest that something wonderful is happening when in fact their very use is an extreme negative which indicates that the algorithms are unable to fully exploit quantum parallelism to deliver a truly dramatic quantum advantage.
  113. We are getting close to the tipping point. Vague, ill-defined, contrived concept, unconnected to reality. We don’t really know what it is. Or what it’s going to be, or how we can tell if it’s happening, about to happen, or has already happened.
  114. We’re going to need billions of qubits. Gross exaggeration, probably intended to exclude various competitors and their technology. In my estimation, even as few as 48 qubits could conceivably enable a significant degree of quantum advantage — 1,000,000X a classical solution.
  115. We still don’t know exactly when the quantum tipping point is going to happen, but it’s coming, and you need to be ready. Vague, ill-defined, contrived concept, unconnected to reality. Or what it’s going to be, or how we can tell if it’s happening, about to happen, or has already happened.
  116. Will. As opposed to could, might, may. Does, is, or has tend to be problematic as well unless they actually literally describe what is available today. The future is uncertain. Be sure to speak cautiously and tentatively about the future rather than definitively beyond our ability to know the future with any certainty.
  117. Y2Q and the quantum threat are coming much sooner than you think. Y2Q and the quantum threat are coming sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  118. Y2Q (Years to Quantum) countdown clock. Hypothetical date when future quantum computers are expected (by some, even by many) to be able to crack 1024, 2048, and 4096-bit public encryption keys. Purely speculative. No sense of being grounded in reality. One group has set this date to be April 14, 2030. Again, purely speculative and not grounded in reality. Shor’s factoring algorithm may eventually be able to factor relatively small semiprime numbers, such as 24, 32, and maybe 48-bit numbers, but technical limitations of physics and analog electronics won’t permit factoring much larger numbers such as typical public encryption keys. For some technical detail on such limitations, see my informal paper, Is Lack of Fine Granularity of Phase and Probability Amplitude the Fatal Achilles Heel Which Dooms Quantum Computing to Severely Limited Utility?
  119. Y2Q is coming sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  120. The Y2Q Quantum threat is real and the time to act is now. To be honest, in my own personal opinion, this is a gross exaggeration. As discussed elsewhere here, Shor’s factoring algorithm is unlikely to ever work for the large encryption keys used for securely encrypting data today — 2048 and 4096 bits. The words “the time to act is now” are always hype.
  121. Y2Q will be here sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.
  122. You can’t afford to ignore quantum computing. Depends what you mean by ignore, but this shouldn’t be taken to construe that you need to go all-in on quantum computing at this juncture.
  123. You’ll be using quantum computers sooner than you think. Nobody really knows what others think. It’s presumptuous and offensive to assert that you know what someone thinks. Definitely hype.

This list will be revised as the hype continues to flow.

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