John Preskill explains Quantum Supremacy

John Preskill in Quanta:

A recent paper from Google’s quantum computing lab announced that the company had achieved quantum supremacy. Everyone has been talking about it, but what does it all mean?

In 2012, I proposed the term “quantum supremacy” to describe the point where quantum computers can do things that classical computers can’t, regardless of whether those tasks are useful. With that new term, I wanted to emphasize that this is a privileged time in the history of our planet, when information technologies based on principles of quantum physics are ascendant.

The words “quantum supremacy” — if not the concept — proved to be controversial for two reasons. One is that supremacy, through its association with white supremacy, evokes a repugnant political stance. The other reason is that the word exacerbates the already overhyped reporting on the status of quantum technology. I anticipated the second objection, but failed to foresee the first. In any case, the term caught on, and it has been embraced with particular zeal by the Google AI Quantum team.

More here.