AlphaZero beat humans at Chess and StarCraft, now it’s working with quantum computers – The Next Web

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 4:42 pm


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A team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark let DeepMinds AlphaZero algorithm loose on a few quantum computing optimization problems and, much to everyones surprise, the AI was able to solve the problems without any outside expert knowledge. Not bad for a machine learning paradigm designed to win at games like Chess and StarCraft.

Youve probably heard of DeepMind and its AI systems. The UK-based Google sister-company is responsible for both AlphaZero and AlphaGo, the systems that beat the worlds most skilled humans at the games of Chess and Go. In essence, what both systems do is try to figure out what the optimal next set of moves is. Where humans can only think so many moves ahead, the AI can look a bit further using optimized search and planning methods.

Related:DeepMinds AlphaZero AI is the new champion in chess, shogi, and Go

When the Aarhus team applied AlphaZeros optimization abilities to a trio of problems associated with optimizing quantum functions an open problem for the quantum computing world they learned that its ability to learn new parameters unsupervised transferred over from games to applications quite well.

Per the study:

AlphaZero employs a deep neural network in conjunction with deep lookahead in a guided tree search, which allows for predictive hidden-variable approximation of the quantum parameter landscape. To emphasize transferability, we apply and benchmark the algorithm on three classes of control problems using only a single common set of algorithmic hyperparameters.

The implications for AlphaZeros mastery over the quantum universe could be huge. Controlling a quantum computer requires an AI solution because operations at the quantum level quickly become incalculable by humans. The AI can find optimum paths between data clusters in order to emerge better solutions in tandem with computer processors. It works a lot like human heuristics, just scaled to the nth degree.

An example of this would be an algorithm that helps a quantum computer sort through near-infinite combinations of molecules to come up with chemical compounds that would be useful in the treatment of certain illnesses. The current paradigm would involve developing an algorithm that relies on human expertise and databases with previous findings to point it in the right direction.

But the kind of problems were looking at quantum computers to solve dont always have a good starting point. Some of these, optimization problems like the Traveling Salesman Problem, need an algorithm thats capable of figuring things out without the need for constant adjustment by developers.

DeepMinds algorithm and AI system may be the solution quantum computings been waiting for. The researchers effectively employ AlphaZero as a Tabula Rasa for quantum optimization: It doesnt necessarily need human expertise to find the optimum solution to a problem at the quantum computing level.

Before we start getting too concerned about unsupervised AI accessing quantum computers, its worth mentioning that so far AlphaZeros just solved a few problems in order to prove a concept. We know the algorithms can handle quantum optimization, now its time to figure out what we can do with it.

The researchers have already received interest from big tech and other academic institutions with queries related to collaborating on future research. Not for nothing, but DeepMinds sister-company Google has a little quantum computing program of its own. Were betting this isnt the last weve heard of AlphaZeros adventures in the quantum computing world.

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AlphaZero beat humans at Chess and StarCraft, now it's working with quantum computers - The Next Web

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January 18th, 2020 at 4:42 pm

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