Google Is Investing More in Quantum Computing Research to Create Better AI

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 3 2014 7:56 PM

Google Is Investing More in Quantum Computing Research to Create Better AI

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Google wants quantum processors to power artificial intelligence.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google actually has a team that works on applying quantum-computing research to artificial intelligence development—and now it’s putting more money into the group.

On Tuesday the company announced that it will partner with quantum-computing researcher John Martinis and his lab group from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Martinis’ lab has published extensively on using superconducting circuits and gates to make quantum processors.

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Google has invested in quantum computing before. The company purchased an unproven D-Wave quantum computer in 2013 and has worked with D-Wave and other research entities, like NASA. But the partnership with UCSB is aimed at making abstract research more applicable. Director of engineering Hartmut Neven wrote in the announcement, “With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insight.”

Artificial intelligence demands a huge amount of processing power, so the more quantum computing can deliver, the easier it will be for Google to roll out smart homes and self-driving cars that actually work.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is a staff writer and the lead blogger for Future Tense.

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