Twitter’s “Quantum Bullshit Detector” Combats Over-Hyping
The Qubit Report is taking this into consideration as a new resource. Because Quantum is Coming. Hype or no-hype. Qubit.
Revolt! Scientists Say They’re Sick of Quantum Computing’s Hype
In brief ~
+ This spring, a mysterious figure by the name of Quantum Bullshit Detector strolled onto the Twitter scene. Posting anonymously, they began to comment on purported breakthroughs in quantum computing—claims that the technology will speed up artificial intelligence algorithms, manage financial risk at banks, and break all encryption. The account preferred to express its opinions with a single word: “Bullshit.”
“There is some confusion. Quantum Bullshit Detector cannot debate you. It can only detect quantum bullshit. This is why we are Quantum Bullshit Detector!” the account tweeted in response.
+ The provocations perplexed experts in the field. Because of the detector’s familiarity with jargon and the accounts it chose to follow, the person or persons behind the account seemed be part of the quantum community. Researchers were unaccustomed to such brazen trolling from someone in their own ranks. “So far it looks pretty well-calibrated, but […] vigilante justice is a high-risk affair,” physicist Scott Aaronson wrote on his blog a month after the detector’s debut. People discussed online whether to take the account’s opinions seriously.
+ People now tag the detector, @BullshitQuantum, to request its take on specific articles, which the account obliges with an uncomplicated “Bullshit” or sometimes “Not bullshit.” Not everyone celebrates the detector, with one physicist calling the detector “ignorant” and condemning its “lack of talent and bad taste” in response to a negative verdict on his own work. But some find that the account provides a public service in an emerging industry prone to hyperbole. “I think it does a good job of highlighting articles that are not well-written,” says physicist Juani Bermejo-Vega of the University of Granada in Spain.
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