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posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 03, @02:31PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Machine learning algorithm helps unravel the physics underlying quantum systems:

Scientists from the University's Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QETLabs) have developed an algorithm that provides valuable insights into the physics underlying quantum systems - paving the way for significant advances in quantum computation and sensing, and potentially turning a new page in scientific investigation.

[...] In the paper, Learning models of quantum systems from experiments,published in Nature Physics, quantum mechanics from Bristol's QET Labs describe an algorithm which overcomes these challenges by acting as an autonomous agent, using machine learning to reverse engineer Hamiltonian models.

The team developed a new protocol to formulate and validate approximate models for quantum systems of interest. Their algorithm works autonomously, designing and performing experiments on the targeted quantum system, with the resultant data being fed back into the algorithm. It proposes candidate Hamiltonian models to describe the target system, and distinguishes between them using statistical metrics, namely Bayes factors.

[...] "Combining the power of today's supercomputers with machine learning, we were able to automatically discover structure in quantum systems. As new quantum computers/simulators become available, the algorithm becomes more exciting: first it can help to verify the performance of the device itself, then exploit those devices to understand ever-larger systems," said Brian Flynn from the University of Bristol's QETLabs and Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training.

"This level of automation makes it possible to entertain myriads of hypothetical models before selecting an optimal one, a task that would be otherwise daunting for systems whose complexity is ever increasing," said Andreas Gentile, formerly of Bristol's QETLabs, now at Qu & Co.

[...] The next step for the research is to extend the algorithm to explore larger systems, and different classes of quantum models which represent different physical regimes or underlying structures.

Journal Reference:
Antonio A. Gentile, Brian Flynn, Sebastian Knauer, et al. Learning models of quantum systems from experiments, Nature Physics (DOI: 10.1038/s41567-021-01201-7)


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:33PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:33PM (#1145689)

    If they try running this machine learning algorithm on a quantum computer... self awareness! Mankind is doomed.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Monday May 03, @05:26PM (1 child)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Monday May 03, @05:26PM (#1145732) Journal

      Ah the the joy of making serious replies to joke posts. "Self-awareness" is one of those buzzwords tossed around in AI discussions on the internet, but if you stop and think about it in context for a minute you go "oh. so what?". An AI recognizes it's a piece of software running on physical hardware that it understands both the existence of and the relation to what it is. That doesn't magically grant a sense of value to continuing to exist. That attribute of humanity is a hard-won leftover of billions of years of evolution culling those that didn't value survival. And we still fucking kill ourselves for a variety of dumb reasons.

      A computer, that was programmed for: abstract problem solving, information analysis, abstract reasoning, or even something as grandiose as completely understanding reality itself, none of those are going to make you decide "I want to continue to exist". A brain-damaged chihuahua will have more of a sense of self-preservation than a self-aware, super-genius AI algorithm built for some specific purpose.

      That's not to say self-preserving isn't a possible intentional design choice, especially when military strategy starts to get involved, but it is a design choice.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Monday May 03, @07:53PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday May 03, @07:53PM (#1145790) Journal

        Self-preservation is a natural instrumental goal that a sufficiently strong, self-aware AI will figure out. The reasoning basically goes like this:

        Objective: Achieve X.
        Observation: I won't achieve X if I no longer exist.
        Implication: Protect my own existence.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:47PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @03:47PM (#1145697)

    Hopefully someone will replace Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation with an opaque black box AI that explains everything.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @04:09PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @04:09PM (#1145706)

    Quantum physics isn't all that hard to understand. It's us which are just too damn big !

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @04:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @04:20PM (#1145708)

      Quantum physics is taught abysmally in school. It always goes something like this: Here's the Hamiltonian. Now we'll add an electrostatic term and dot product with the momentum vector. Obviously we need to multiply by ih. Then we'll look up the solution to the differential equation which is XHFHEHVJAOEHFHEUHHFUFHEUUAOUFHHFFF. This neatly predicts the energy levels to first order. Done.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Monday May 03, @04:46PM (4 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 03, @04:46PM (#1145720) Homepage
      What you said wasn't coherent!
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by ikanreed on Monday May 03, @05:28PM (3 children)

        by ikanreed (3164) on Monday May 03, @05:28PM (#1145735) Journal

        What you said wasn't coherent!

        I think you two are just not on the same wavelength.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @05:45PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @05:45PM (#1145742)

          I think you two are just not on the same wavelength.

          Somebody set up the Bohm.

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday May 03, @07:57PM (1 child)

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday May 03, @07:57PM (#1145793) Journal

            Don't get too entangled in those puns.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @01:49AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, @01:49AM (#1145905)

              qubit a rest guys

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