In 2018 the European Union decided to invest 10 billion euros in emerging technologies based on quantum mechanics. This funding initiave is called Quantum flagship and is s
Quantum Machine Learning
Combining quantum computing with machine learning sounds a bit like combining fancy buzzwords in a project application to make sure you get funded. But it is obviously much more than that, by exploiting properties of quantum mechanics like superposition and entanglement it is possible to develop machine learning algorithms that have exponential learning rates compared to traditional approaches. This means under certain circumstances they can almost instantaneously learn new tasks or solve problems that are impossible to tackle with classical learning algorithms. Think about an optimization task like finding the fastest way through traffic where the algorithms should be able to adapt and learn very fast based on new situations.
In the last years researchers developed algorithms for quantum computers that can process signals, search unsorted databases, look for smallest or largest numbers of complicated mathematical objects or efficiantly solve linear equations systems. Such computational tasks are also at the core of machine learning algorithms, thus the combination of quantum mechanics with AI is not that far fetched as you might think. By exploiting the possibility to perform parallel manipulations of a plethora of possible test solutions and statistically converging to the best solution among them we can leverage phenomena in the quantum world for machine learning tasks.
Working with quantum computers
The main drawback of quantum computers is that they are still very prone to errors in the system, their fault tolerance is very low. To efficiently apply quantum algorithms to break codes or start a new era of AI we need thousands of entangled qubits that are resilient to errors. At the moment companies like IBM or google provide free access to quantum computers with a few tens of qubits, so it will still take a while until large scale quantum computing is possbile but nevertheless already now we can develop and test corresponding algorithms.