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Government Hardware

The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet $30 Million On Quantum Computing Company 73

An anonymous reader writes "The CIA's investment fund, In-Q-Tel, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have invested $30 million in a Canadian company that claims to build quantum computers, reports Technology Review in a detailed story on why that startup, D-Wave, appears to be attracting serious interest after years of skepticism from experts. A spokesman for In-Q-Tel says that intelligence agencies 'have many complex problems that tax classical computing architecture,' a feeling apparently strong enough to justify a bet on a radically different, and largely unproven, approach to computing."
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The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet $30 Million On Quantum Computing Company

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  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @09:13PM (#41554739)
    I think its rather obvious that it's not secret... since we're talking about it. I'd rather the CIA be investing in new technologies and improving society. At least they didn't spend $30 million starting a war somewhere.
  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @09:19PM (#41554783)
    The accuracy is the fundamental problem, with no error correction (or at least indications that there is an error), which is one of the biggest problems with their approach, it's worse than useless. In the protein folding experiment it got the correct answer just 13 out of 10,000 times [].
  • by strat ( 39913 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @09:39PM (#41554883)

    The short answer is that the times have changed from back when government-funded applied research was a primary source of startup innovations. The reality is that small companies move faster and are more able to adjust to surprises in an agile manner than the Government. Now the tables have turned and the Government needs mechanisms to find new things because it's certainly not inventing them all in-house.

    Speaking as one of the other members of the population, I have a few mixed feelings about the government using public funds for equity buys. Conversely, if that mechanism allows the USG to more rapidly gain access to novel inventions than they have and those inventions optimize the Government's performance, it's a drop in the bucket and probably saving the taxpayers a bundle.

    If you find Google Earth useful, thank In-Q-Tel. When the startup that produced that technology was financed, only realtors in California had ever heard of it.

    (Yes, I'm a little biased. I have been a part of some public-private partnerships that have performed well.)

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