Seminars

They create a quantum device that allows to know all possible futures

A quantum device is capable of generating all possible futures of any decision to improve AI processes. It is based on the superposition of state of the photons to know simultaneously all the statistical variables of each present. Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the University of Griffith (Australia) have built a quantum device that can generate all possible futures in a superposition of simultaneous possibilities.

Gu and his research group point out that a quantum computer can examine all possible futures if those futures are placed in a quantum superposition, similar to the one related by Schrödinger’s famous cat.

According to this thought experiment, devised in 1935 by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger to expose one of the interpretations of quantum mechanics, a cat that is in a box in which there is food on one side and poison on the other, is simultaneously in two possible states (alive or dead) until the observer opens the box and looks inside to see what happened. Without knowing it, according to this example, the observer determines the cat’s luck, this original interpretation has had a long theoretical journey to this day.

Starting from this superposition of states, the researchers developed a quantum processor that analyzes the behavior of photons, which are the quantum particles of light. Unlike classical particles, quantum particles can move in a quantum superposition that involves different directions, that is, they move at the same time in different directions.

What these researchers did was to attribute to the photons of the device the representation of a decision-making process, according to their location. That is, if a decision (such as taking the bus or subway) is applied to a photon in superposition, the device allows to determine what will happen, whether we go by bus or metro, depending on the paths that the photon will simultaneously travel. inside the device.

In this way, they converted the device into a superposition of several future potentials, which can be weighted mathematically according to their probability of occurrence.

The device already allows something practical: to measure to what extent a specific option (going by bus or subway) impacts the future of each of those options.

The device, however, is not designed to help us know what happens, whether we take the bus or the subway. Being of a quantum nature, it is only valid for the universe of elementary particles.

One of the main applications refers to the possibility of improving the algorithms used by Artificial Intelligence. “Many artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms learn by seeing how small changes in their behavior can lead to different futures, so our techniques can allow improved AIs to learn the effect of their actions much more efficiently,” says Geoff. Pryde, member of the experimental group.

The researchers point out that while their current prototype simulates most of the 16 futures simultaneously, the underlying quantum algorithm can in principle scale without limit future possible statistics.

Interfering trajectories in experimental quantum-enhanced stochastic simulation. Farzad Ghafari, et al. Nature Communications, volume 10, Article number: 1630 (2019). DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08951-2 

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