Where Buzzwords Go to Die

It is a pretty sure sign that a buzzword is near the end of its life cycle when the academic world uses it for promotional purposes. Ever more science research comes with its own version of marketing hype.  What makes this such a sad affair, is that this is usually done pretty badly.

So why is spouting that quantum computing makes for perfect cloud computing really, really bad marketing?

"Cloud computing" is the latest buzzword iteration of "computing as a service", and as far as buzzwords  go it served its purpose well.  It is still in wide circulation but the time is nigh that it will be put out to pasture, and replaced with something that sounds more shiny - while signifying the very same thing.

Quantum computing on the other hand is not a buzzword. It is a revolution in the making. To hitch it to the transitory cloud computing term is bad marketing in its own right, but the way that it is done in this case, is ever more damaging.  There is already one class of quantum information devices commercially available: Quantum Key Distribution systems. They are almost tailor-made to secure current Cloud infrastructures and alleviate the security concerns that  are holding this business model back (especially in Europe).

But you'd never know from reading the sorry news stories about the (otherwise quite remarkable) experiment to demonstrate blind quantum computing.  To the contrary, an uniformed reader will come away with the impression that you won't have acceptable privacy in the cloud unless full-scale quantum computing becomes a reality.

Compare and contrast to this exquisite quantum computing marketing stunt. While the latter brings attention and confidence to the field at zero cost, this bought and paid for marketing couldn't be further of the mark. It is almost like it's designed to hold the entire industry back.  Simply pitiful.

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2 Responses to Where Buzzwords Go to Die

  1. Perry says:

    I really liked Scott Aaronson’s talk at Caltech about “Physics in the 21st Century” http://tedxcaltech.com/speakers/scott-aaronson
    which gives a great overview of why quantum computing is cool.

    …and I think the Perception Reality feedback loop has a lot to do with why the (social) world is so hard to understand!

  2. Thanks for the link! What a great stand-up science routine. This guy must be a blast in the classroom.

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