Lex Fridman interviews Scott Aaronson, a quantum computer scientist.

Time index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:31 – Simulation
  • 8:22 – Theories of everything
  • 14:02 – Consciousness
  • 36:16 – Roger Penrose on consciousness
  • 46:28 – Turing test
  • 50:16 – GPT-3
  • 58:46 – Universality of computation
  • 1:05:17 – Complexity
  • 1:11:23 – P vs NP
  • 1:23:41 – Complexity of quantum computation
  • 1:35:48 – Pandemic
  • 1:49:33 – Love

Quantum computing, a subject as confusing as it is intriguing.

In this fascinating and entertaining talk, Scott Aaronson elucidates the potential and the limits of quantum computing.

In a sober fashion, he gives an overview of the state of research, telling us not only what we could expect from quantum computers in the future, but also what we probably shouldn’t.

Scott Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, USA, and director of its Quantum Information Center. He is well-known for his “complexity zoo,” which helps to classify problems that can be solved by computers, both quantum and classical, according to how hard it is to solve them.

Scott is an accomplished academic researcher who published dozens of influential papers and won various notable awards, like the Alan T. Waterman Award in 2012. Before his current position at UT Austin, he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nine years. In 2004, he received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and held positions at the University of Waterloo and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Lex Fridman  interviews Scott Aaronson,a professor at UT Austin, director of its Quantum Information Center, and previously a professor at MIT.

His research interests center around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers and computational complexity theory more generally. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

0:00 – Introduction
5:07 – Role of philosophy in science
29:27 – What is a quantum computer?
41:12 – Quantum decoherence (noise in quantum information)
49:22 – Quantum computer engineering challenges
51:00 – Moore’s Law
56:33 – Quantum supremacy
1:12:18 – Using quantum computers to break cryptography
1:17:11 – Practical application of quantum computers
1:22:18 – Quantum machine learning, questinable claims, and cautious optimism
1:30:53 – Meaning of life