I've seen a lot of excitement in the popular press about the computers made by D-Wave Systems, but when I dig deep the only practical things that I can figure out that one can do with the computer are variations of:
- Train one's staff in the use of quantum computers.
- Write papers about what you can do with a quantum computer.
- Explore quantum algorithms.
That is, these aren't even research machines---they are exploratory machines for what kind of research we would do if we had larger machines.
Am I mistaken? Is there any "quantum advantage" to be had from these machines---that is, a computation that can be done more cost effectively than with conventional computers?