Quantum Story

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"They want what?"

"A story based around quantum theory, only a thousand words."

"Isn't quantum thingy what you do all day?"

"Yes, the sixteen-k q-bit wafer is just coming on line." I said that rather excitedly, it was my big news for the day, but I saw I'd lost her at that. While my wife does like to hear me talk about my work, sometimes, sometimes she has other priorities. So at that moment, she didn't want to hear about my work in wafer scale integration of quantum computer elements (usually called q-bits).

—

"I've been thinking about that story."

"What story?"

"The one about quantum theory." No recognition showed in her face. "The competition I mentioned yesterday?"

"Oh, that."

"I could get the thingy to do it." 'Thingy' was also how she referred to the results of my labours.

"How? Wouldn't that be cheating?"

"With three wafers, I could get it to write all possible stories at once. I hadn't thought about cheating; I'll have to check the rules." She'd already turned away from that problem. But, it was a fascinating idea, one q-bit does two things at once. If you add q-bits, it multiplies that, so ten q-bits together can do one thousand things at once. With two hundred and eighty you could do as many calculations at once as there are particles in the universe. I had sixteen thousand on one wafer. I reckoned a thousand word story had about forty kbits of information in it, so forty kq-bits should be able to write all possible thousand word stories at once. I'd only need three of my wafers for that.

—

"It's not against the rules."

"What?"

"Having the thingy write my story. The rules don't allow machines to submit entries, but it doesn't say they can't be machine written. I've got it writing all possible one thousand word stories now, all at once."

"That's nice dear, how do you know which to enter?"

"Urm, …" I hadn't thought about that. I had the system generating every possible story, but how do I find the one to enter among those?

—

"The Brain people can do it." I said excitedly.

"What?" She smiled, she liked it when I got enthusiastic, even if she didn't always know what I was enthusiastic about.

"The Brain can judge which of the possible stories is the best. They have a new net for it, it makes value judgements like a human literary judge would. They used that writing competition they staged last year to get training data for it. You know, the one with a million dollar prize. That certainly got people's attention." 'Brain' was the department name for the people who did machine learning. They already used it for things like machine translation and photo classification.

—

"The Brain can do it, but it'll take it much longer than the age of the universe to do it." I said that in a very glum tone, so she stopped what she was doing and gave me a hug.

"Sorry dear." Then a few second later, "Couldn't your thingy speed it up? It does so many things at once." That was a brilliant idea. A superposition of nets in a q-bit driven Brain. It could judge the many different stories at once.

"I love you." Instantly brighter, I kissed her. Then looked for my phone, I had to call Mike at the Brain to talk this over.

"Why don't you come and have your tea dear? It'll wait until morning."

—

"They think they can do it!" I proclaimed my good news in a much too excited manner.

"Who? What?"

"The Brain people can move their quantum Brain to my thingy, and they'll be able to run the superposed nets to judge all the stories at once."

"I knew you could do it dear."

—

"I entered a story today. It scored highest for human interest, technical accuracy, and humour."

"That's nice dear, your tea's ready."

About the Author: 
After graduating in Physics from Oxford, I went into computer programming (regular, not quantum computers) instead, and then moved to California. I've worked for some very large, very well known companies in Silicon Valley. I've worked on some very popular iconic products.