UnNews:Quantum computing predicts Royal Baby’s name

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03 April 2015

Quantum computing is proving itself a useful tool for predicting the extremely unlikely

SURREY, England -- After running a nine-month probability algorithm on the world’s first functioning quantum computer, Scientists have revealed that the Royal Princess will be called Error 416.

In the first important role for the multibillion pound prototype quantum computer, scientists are delighted with the performance, coming up with the princess name just hours before her parent’s announce it. This marks the first full program run on the computer, which is still yet to master addition and subtraction.

“We started to get a bit frustrated trying to make it do math to be honest, ” said Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey. The nature of quantum is it is based on probability, i.e. the answer sometimes looks right but the probability is that it is wrong.

“Correcting this quirk of quantum mechanics requires a second quantum computer to compare the answer from the first, and a third to check the second, and the first, and then a small calculator to confirm the real result, as all three quantum computers would normally have completely different answers. One thing that quantum computer’s have over calculators is that they are able to give the wrong answer to 155 decimal places rather than just ten.

“Predicting the Princess' name was somewhat easier as the question is probability-based rather than mathematical. Error 416’s parents are avid TV watchers, so all we had to do was input the shows, cast and amount of time devoted to watching each show, then pull this big red lever.”

Woodward was surprised by the result as, like the Of-Cambridges, he is a fan of Downton Abbey, The X Factor and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and was expecting the baby to be called Cora-Cowell-Kardashian Of-Cambridge.

Woodward is now writing code for the next program, which is going to accurately calculate who will be the UK’s Prime Minister next week, so saving people from feeling bad that they didn’t bother voting; once he can figure out why the thing seems to have got stuck on Error 416 Of-Cambridge result page.