Pressing the accelerator on quantum robotics

October 6, 2014
The theoretical work has focused on using quantum computing to accelerate the machine learning.

Quantum computing will allow for the creation of powerful computers, but also much smarter and more creative robots than conventional ones. This was the conclusion reached by researchers from Spain and Austria, who have confirmed that quantum tools help robots learn and respond much faster to the stimuli around them.

Quantum mechanics has revolutionised the world of communications and computers by introducing algorithms which are much quicker and more secure in transferring information. Now researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the University of Innsbruck (Austria) have published a study in the journal 'Physical Review X' which states that these tools can be used to apply to robots, automatons and the other agents that use (AI).

They demonstrate for the first time that quantum machines can respond the best and act the fastest against the environment surrounding them. More specifically, they adapt to situations where the conventional ones, which are much slower, cannot finish the learning and response processes.

"In the case of very demanding and 'impatient' environments, the outcome is that the quantum robot can adapt itself and survive, while the classic robot is destined to collapse," explains G. Davide Paparo and Miguel A. Martín-Delgado, the two researchers from UCM who have participated in the study.

Their theoretical work has focused on using quantum computing to accelerate ahead with one of the most difficult points to resolve in information technology: machine learning, which is used to create highly accurate models and predictions. It is applied, for example, to know how the climate or an illness will evolve or in the development of Internet search engines.

More creative quantum robots

"Building a model is actually a creative act, but conventional computers are no good at it," says Martín-Delgado. "That is where comes into play. The advances it brings are not only quantitative in terms of greater speed, but also qualitative: adapting better to environments where the classic agent does not survive. This means that quantum robots are more creative".

The authors assess the scope of their study as such: "It means a step forward towards the most ambitious objective of artificial intelligence: the creation of a that is intelligent and creative, and that is not designed for specific tasks".

This work comes under a new discipline, the so-called 'quantum AI', an area in which the company Google has started to invest millions of dollars via the creation of a specialised laboratory in collaboration with the NASA.

Explore further: Google working on super-fast 'quantum' computer chip

More information: Giuseppe Davide Paparo, Vedran Dunjko, Adi Makmal, Miguel Angel Martin-Delgado, and Hans J. Briegel. "Quantum Speedup for Active Learning Agents". Phys. Rev. X 4, 031002, July 2014.

Related Stories

The road to quantum computing

May 15, 2014

Anticipating the advent of the quantum computer, related mathematical methods already provide insight into conventional computer science.

Google engineers open gates to Quantum Computing Playground

May 23, 2014

Does the idea of playing about with a quantum computer please you? If so, you can check out one fresh alternative route, thanks to a group of Google engineers. How about a GPU-accelerated quantum computer? You can take advantage ...

Exotic state of matter propels quantum computing theory

July 23, 2014

So far it exists mainly in theory, but if invented, the large-scale quantum computer would change computing forever. Rather than the classical data-encoding method using binary digits, a quantum computer would process information ...

Recommended for you

Changing semiconductor properties at room temperature

October 28, 2016

It's a small change that makes a big difference. Researchers have developed a method that uses a one-degree change in temperature to alter the color of light that a semiconductor emits. The method, which uses a thin-film ...

Novel light sources made of 2-D materials

October 28, 2016

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs, which are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal ...

Shocks in the early universe could be detectable today

October 27, 2016

(—Physicists have discovered a surprising consequence of a widely supported model of the early universe: according to the model, tiny cosmological perturbations produced shocks in the radiation fluid just a fraction ...

Bubble nucleus discovered

October 27, 2016

Research conducted at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University has shed new light on the structure of the nucleus, that tiny congregation of protons and neutrons found at the core of ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Oct 06, 2014
What i find disturbing is that Google buys a Canadian D-Wave supercomputer. The first company to reportedly (incl by NASA tests) to produce a computer working on quantum computing principles. Only to than announce after months of studying and using the D-Wave computers that they will be creating, building and selling their own. What insult and a stab in the back to the company D-Wave. Google has really become and evil company to me (and apparently to many). Not just on this issue but on too many levels.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.