Robots Learn Faster with Quantum Computing

Scientists at the University of Vienna exploit quantum weirdness for speedier AI

A team of scientists at the University of Vienna has completed an experiment that demonstrates the benefits of quantum technology in training robots. Artificial intelligence and quantum computing have been major research topics in recent years -- this project combined the two fields in an effort to determine whether quantum techniques can help robots learn faster. The team succeeded in demonstrating a speed-up in learning time.

According to the press release, β€œIn a nutshell, the experiment can be understood by imagining a robot standing at a crossroad, provided with the task of learning to always take the left turn. The robot learns by obtaining a reward when doing the correct move. Now, if the robot is placed in our usual classical world, then it will try either a left or right turn, and will be rewarded only if the left turn is chosen. In contrast, when the robot exploits quantum technology, the bizarre aspects of quantum physics come into play. The robot can now make use of one of its most famous and peculiar features, the so called superposition principle. This can be intuitively understood by imagining the robot taking the two turns, left and right, at the same time.”