Black Mirror Joan is Awful: Is the Quamputer Real?

Annie Murphy as Joan in Black Mirror Season 6 Joan is Awful
Credit: Netflix

Annie Murphy as Joan in Black Mirror Season 6 Joan is Awful
Credit: Netflix

The much-awaited episodes of Black Mirror Season 6 were released today and many are already binge-watching it. And we've done our part to document the top queries of viewers and answer them.

First up, we can't help but wonder about Black Mirror Joan is Awful: is the quamputer real? Or as Salma Hayek calls it, the "quamputa."

In this article, we'll talk about the quantum computer and whether or not it exists today. More importantly, can it take the lives of ordinary citizens and deepfake actors' faces on them?

What Is a Quamputer in Black Mirror?

Annie Murphy as Joan in Black Mirror Season 6 Joan is Awful
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Credit: Netflix

In Black Mirror's Joan is Awful episode, we learned about the existence of a quamputer or quantum computer (or as Salma Hayek says: "Quamputa").  But what is it, really?

Joan (played by Annie Murphy) is a corporate employee who gets the shock of her life when she learns that a TV show has started to copy her day-to-day activities.

The biggest shock of them all is that the show has cast Salma Hayek to play her in the Streamberry TV show. But all of this happens without her consent-- or at least that's what she thinks.

So Joan hurries to her lawyer to sue Streamberry and stop them from making a TV show about her life and how it has negatively affected her.

Her lawyer reminds her that she signed the Terms and Conditions of Streamberry, which allowed them to pry into her life much like a smartphone pries into its users lives in real life and sends them advertisements for something they are looking for.

This is where her lawyer explains quantum computer to her and how she cannot do anything to stop them since she gave her consent.

Later in the episode, Joan gets the help of Salma Hayek to walk into Streamberry's office and destroy the quamputer.

When they get inside the streaming platform's CEO office, Mona Javadi (played by Leila Farzad) is explaining to a reporter how everything works.

She talks about how the quamputer is capable of taking the lives of normal individuals and creates "unique, tailored content" to individuals in their database.

Javadi then proceeds to show several other titles they are working on, each with the same blank is Awful title.

When asked why the show is so negative, Javadi explains that upon testing, their audience "did not buy it. It didn't chime with their neurotic view of themselves." This also drove engagement, which is what these producers are after.

How Did Joan Destroy the Quamputer?

Salma Hayek-Pinault as Salma Hayek in Black Mirror Season 6 Joan is Awful
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Credit: Netflix

After learning how the quamputer works and where Javaldi stores it, Hayek and Joan walk into a control room that Michael Cera works in. Joan sees footage of her without Hayek's face deepfaked into it.

As it turns out, Joan is actually not the original Joan. There is a "Source Joan" in the real world. The actress, Annie Murphy, is actually helping her reach the quamputer the same way that Hayek is.

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Knowing this, Joan picks up an axe and decides to smash the quamputer into pieces. Hayek learns that when the quamputer gets destroyed, she will also disappear. This helps her change her stance and pleads to Joan not to destroy it.

But Joan is convinced to put an end to the madness, since the original Joan has actually done it before.

When she strikes the computer, the real Joan comes on screen and is revealed to be a totally normal person. She also finds the actress, Annie Murphy, smiling at her in approval as she is whisked away in handcuffs.

Is a Quantum Computer Real?

Black Mirror
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Credit: Netflix

So here is the million dollar question: is a quantum computer real? It turns out some of these hyper-powerful devices are actually real.

But by definition, a quantum computer does qubits (quantum bits) calculations to collect a more complex state of information. It is also said to be an emerging technology that is more powerful than regular computers.

Some of the companies who are experimenting with a quantum computer include Google, IBM, Alibaba, Honeywell, and many others.

But we don't know yet if this real computer will be capable of doing the same thing as its equivalent in the Black Mirror episode. Hopefully, not.

RELATED: Black Mirror: What is Red Mirror?

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