Let’s chat(GPT) about Quantum Technologies
Chat GPT is a hype these days, one glimpse of how powerful AI language models are nowadays – accessible for everyone. As quantum enablers, we are curious how well ChatGPT performs as interlocutor or even source for information on quantum topics.
A quick google search on the issue returns, among other things, an article by Lorenzo Leonardo, interviewing ChatGPT about its knowledge about some general principles of quantum computing. Lorenzo concludes that it is doing quite well in explaining some general principles. You can read the interview here: https://www.quantum-machines.co/blog/how-well-does-chatgpt-understand-quantum-computing-lets-find-out/. Another voice (Chris Ferrie) claims that the information provided by ChatGPT about quantum computing are incorrect, or at least nor precise, because the answers given are not more than a repetition of commonly unprecise buzzwords from the internet (https://csferrie.medium.com/chatgpts-explanation-of-quantum-computing-is-bullsh-t-9ee5e2b9f194).
These are two positions from the broad spectrum of individual opinions within the currently intense discussion about this new source of information. Driven by curiosity and interested in the output for some more Hamburg specific questions we involved ourselves in interaction with the bot. In this article we share the up- and downsides we experienced ourselves and share our perspective on some of the answers given. Questions and answers shown here are unaltered.
But first a general remark. The ChatGPT-bot is optimized for holding complex conversations with logical elements that build on each other. It is based on GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), an autoregressive language model with a decoder-only transformer network architecture, developed by OpenAI (www.openai.com). It was retrained with human feedback to make the conversations smoother and more natural. The corpus, meaning the data, ChatGPT can fall back on, or is trained on, has a cut off in 2021. The latest information is not included. This is of course a big limitation in such a rapidly evolving field like quantum computing.
Click here to expand the full interview with ChatGPT about quantum technologies and the metropolitian area of Hamburg.
Q1-Hi, can we chat about quantum technologies?
Sure! I’d be happy to chat about quantum technologies. What would you like to know?
Q2-I want to solve my optimization problem on a quantum computer. What steps do I have to take?
Formulate your optimization problem: Express the problem as a mathematical function to minimize or maximize.
Map the problem to a quantum algorithm: Choose a quantum optimization algorithm that can solve your problem, such as the quantum annealer or the quantum approximation optimization algorithm (QAOA).
Implement the algorithm: Translate the algorithm into a quantum circuit and write a program to run it on a quantum computer.
Choose a quantum computer: Decide which quantum computer to use. There are a few options available, including cloud-based quantum computers and local quantum simulators.
Test and evaluate: Run the algorithm on the chosen quantum computer and compare the results to classical optimization methods.
Refine and repeat: Based on the results, refine the algorithm and repeat the process until you achieve the desired level of optimization.
Note: The steps involved in solving an optimization problem on a quantum computer can be complex and may require specialized knowledge in quantum computing, optimization and programming.
Q3-You are capable to write code snippets for common coding languages. Do you also know quantum SDKs? If so, which ones?
Yes, I am familiar with several quantum software development kits (SDKs) such as:
IBM Qiskit: An open-source SDK for working with IBM’s quantum computers, with support for Python.
Rigetti Forest: An SDK for developing quantum applications on Rigetti’s quantum computers, also with support for Python.
D-Wave Ocean: A suite of tools for developing quantum applications on D-Wave’s quantum annealer, including support for Python and MATLAB.
Microsoft Quantum Development Kit: A full-stack SDK for developing quantum applications on Microsoft’s quantum computers, with support for .NET and Python.
These are some of the popular quantum SDKs that are used today. Let me know if you would like to know more about a specific SDK
Q4-Can you give me the code to setup Python for Qiskit?
Here’s how you can set up Python for Qiskit:
Install Anaconda or Miniconda: Anaconda is a distribution of the Python programming language for scientific computing, while Miniconda is a minimal version of Anaconda that includes only conda and its dependencies.
Create a virtual environment: After installing Anaconda or Miniconda, you can create a virtual environment to keep the Quiskit installation isolated from your system-wide Python installation. To do this, run the following command in your terminal or command prompt:
conda create –n myenv python=3.7
Activate the virtual environment: Once you’’ve created the virtual environment, you can activate it by running the following command:
conda activate myenv
install Qiskit: To install Quiskit, run the following command:
pip install qiskit
That’s it! You should now be able to run Python and import Qiskit in your virtual environment. Here’s an simple example to get you started:
print(“Qiskit version:”), qiskit.__version__
This should print the version number of Qiskit you have installed
Q5-Please name the quantum computer with most qubits at the moment.
As of my training data cut off in 2021, the quantum computer with the most qubits was the Google Sycamore processor, with 53 qubits. However, this is a rapidly evolving field, and the number of qubits in a given quantum computer can change quickly, so this information might be outdated.
Q6-We are located in Hamburg, Germany. What is the situation with quantum technologies in Germany?
Germany has a thriving community of researchers and companies working on quantum technologies. There are several universities and research institutions, such as the Max Planck Society and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, that are actively involved in developing and promoting quantum technologies in the country.
In addition, there are also a number of startups and established companies, such as PQCrypto, IQM, and Zapata Computing, that are focused on developing quantum-based products and solutions.
The German government has also shown strong support for quantum technologies, with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) investing heavily in quantum research and development. The BMBF has launched several initiatives and programs to support the development of a quantum industry in Germany, such as the “Quantum Community Program” and the “Quantum Flagship.”
Overall, the situation with quantum technologies in Germany is very promising, with a strong ecosystem of researchers, companies, and government support.
Q7-What about quantum technologies in Hamburg?
Hamburg is one of the key cities in Germany for quantum technologies, with a growing ecosystem of researchers, startups, and established companies working in this field.
The city is home to several universities and research institutions, such as the University of Hamburg and the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), that are actively involved in developing and promoting quantum technologies. In addition, there are also a number of startups and established companies, such as PQCrypto, that are focused on developing quantum-based products and solutions.
The government of Hamburg has also shown strong support for quantum technologies, with initiatives such as the “Quantum City Hamburg” project, which aims to promote the development of a quantum industry in the city.
Overall, the situation with quantum technologies in Hamburg is very promising, with a growing ecosystem of researchers, startups, and companies, as well as strong government support.
Q8-Have you heard of Hamburg Quantum Innovation Capital (hqic)?
Yes, I have heard of Hamburg Quantum Innovation Capital (hqic). hqic is a private investment firm based in Hamburg, Germany, that invests in early-stage startups working on quantum technologies. The firm is focused on supporting the growth of the quantum ecosystem in Hamburg and helping to build a strong quantum industry in the city.
hqic invests in startups that are working on a wide range of quantum technologies, including quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensing, among others. The firm provides not only financial support, but also mentorship and access to its network of industry partners and experts, to help its portfolio companies succeed.
Overall, hqic is a key player in the growing quantum ecosystem in Hamburg, and is helping to drive the development of a strong quantum industry in the city.
Q9-This is incorrect, hqic is not a VC company. It is an initiative installed by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to establish and enable a vivid, successful quantum technology ecosystem at the site.
My apologies, you are correct. Hamburg Quantum Innovation Capital (hqic) is not a private investment firm, but rather an initiative established by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to support the development of a quantum technology ecosystem in the city. Thank you for correcting me.
Q10-Okay, another topic: what can be done in Germany to motivate more industry investments and VC to invest in quantum startups.
There are several steps that Germany can take to motivate more industry investments and venture capital (VC) to invest in quantum startups:
Increase awareness: One of the key challenges facing quantum startups is a lack of awareness of the potential benefits and applications of quantum technologies among industry and investors. The government can play a role in increasing awareness by supporting marketing and communications efforts aimed at highlighting the potential of quantum technologies and the startups working in this field.
Foster collaboration: Encouraging collaboration between quantum startups, established companies, and academic institutions can help to build a strong ecosystem for quantum technologies in Germany. This can be achieved through initiatives such as networking events, innovation challenges, and accelerator programs.
Provide funding and support: Government funding and support can help to bridge the gap between early-stage quantum startups and later-stage investors. This can take the form of direct investment, grants, or tax incentives.
Improve access to talent: Attracting and retaining top talent is critical to the success of quantum startups. The government can help by supporting education and training programs, as well as initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining international talent.
Encourage public-private partnerships: Encouraging public-private partnerships between quantum startups, established companies, and academic institutions can help to speed up the development and commercialization of quantum technologies. These partnerships can take many forms, including joint research projects, technology transfer programs, and co-investment initiatives.
Overall, there are several steps that Germany can take to motivate more industry investments and venture capital to invest in quantum startups, including increasing awareness, fostering collaboration, providing funding and support, improving access to talent, and encouraging public-private partnerships.
Q11-What type of startups or spin offs are most useful right now to serve the needs for technological progress in the field of quantum computing?
There are several types of startups or spin-offs that are useful to serve the needs for technological progress in the field of quantum computing:
Hardware startups: These startups are focused on developing new quantum hardware, such as quantum computers, quantum sensors, and quantum communication systems. They are crucial for advancing the state-of-the-art in quantum technologies and making quantum computing more accessible to a wider range of users.
Software startups: These startups are focused on developing software and tools that can be used to program and control quantum computers. They play a crucial role in making quantum computing more accessible and usable, by providing software and tools that make it easier to run quantum algorithms and simulations.
Quantum cryptography startups: These startups are focused on developing quantum-based cryptographic solutions for secure communication and data protection. They are important for ensuring the security of quantum communications networks and for protecting sensitive information from hackers and other malicious actors.
Quantum optimization startups: These startups are focused on developing quantum algorithms and techniques for solving complex optimization problems. They have the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, from finance and healthcare to logistics and energy.
Quantum simulation startups: These startups are focused on developing quantum simulation tools and platforms that can be used to model and understand complex quantum systems. They play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of quantum mechanics and in developing new quantum technologies.
Overall, there are several types of startups and spin-offs that are useful to serve the needs for technological progress in the field of quantum computing, including hardware startups, software startups, quantum cryptography startups, quantum optimization startups, and quantum simulation startups.
Q2-Okay, thanks for giving insights about your output to some QT relevant topics and quantum technology in Germany.
You’re welcome! I’m glad I could provide some insights on quantum technologies. If you have any more questions or would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to ask!
ChatGPT has a plausible answer to everything, regardless of its actual depth or quality of information about the topic, which can be both helpful, if the answer is correct, or problematic, if the answer is unprecise or wrong.
This was also evident in our conversation with the bot. We retrieved some well-structured, high-level feedback e.g., on which steps to take to solve optimization problems on quantum computers (QC) or how to foster VC investments in QC startups (Q2+10). But the answers given were often generic. For example, the question, which types of QC startups are most needed to promote technical breakthrough (Q11), produced a list of some common types of startups, but did not consider current resources being a bottleneck nor the resulting needs to push the limits.
Asking for current information about the number of qubits of modern QCs (Q5), we receive the note that the training data have a cut off in 2021 and that information might not be up to date. This is good to see and mandatory here, but, in a field with rapid evolvements, might have been placed earlier in the conversation.
When asking more specific questions about quantum technologies in the metropolitan area of Hamburg, hings are getting unsharp (Q7). We can only confirm and endorse the positive view of the quantum technology site Hamburg as described in ChatGPT’s answer, but a project titled “Quantum City Hamburg” does not exist and is a purely fictional invention of the application. Indeed, in 2022 the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg installed an official initiative to enable a thriving quantum technology ecosystem (hqic) and initiated diverse measures to boost quantum technologies in the metropolitan area, like the “Hamburg Quantum School” – an institute and graduate school for excellent academic education in quantum technologies. But anyways, ChatGPT should not have valid information about these measures. The Hamburg Quantum Innovation Capita (hqic) initiative for example, was installed in 2022 – after the data cut off. Consistently the subsequent answer to a question about the initiative is nonsense. ChatGPT claims that ‘it’ has knowledge about the initiative but answers with fictional, incorrect information (Q8). A correcting statement from our site returns the statement: ‘My apologies, you are correct. …’ (Q9).
One thing that shows up clearly in this context. It is important to be thoughtful concerning the information provided. This is not surprising nor ChatGPT exclusive – checking references and validating information is mandatory nowadays, but there is a psychological difference to a common online search – while talking with the bot, both useful information and incorrect output, come very naturally, directly tailored to the posed question, and with the self-confession of a longstanding mentor.
It is quite likely, that ChatGPT and similar applications will soon be a common source for obtaining information. Will this impact the public conception of quantum computing? Like other sources of information available on the internet, it can help to make the topic accessible for a broader audience. Will it impact the rapidness of innovation in quantum technology? It lies within the possible range if the application can support researchers and innovators in doing their job and finding relevant information faster and better.
Improvements come fast, and hopefully, a realistic assessment of the reliability of the answers given and links to references will be included in the repertoire of chat bots soon. Until then and beyond, it is up to the user to act responsibly and to take the information as what they are – an unreviewed guess of the most likely answer, based on the underlying data source (large parts of the internet till 2021, in this case).