A sneak peak inside Google and NASA's new quantum AI lab

Wanna see what a super-futuristic quantum computer lab looks like? Press play and sit back.


Back in May, Google and NASA launched the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. The uber-sleek facility uses two Canadian-built Quantum D-Wave computers which currently crunch at 512-qubits. Admittedly that's not much, but the potential for quantum computers is enormous. It's a revolutionary new paradigm that would see these machines produce near-instantaneous results — results that would take a classical computer thousands of years.

The two companies have been a bit tight-lipped as to the exact nature of the project. But the new video, which premiers today a the Imagine Science Films Festival at Google New York, shows that they're thinking big. It's clear that they're going to use quantum computers to boost the power of artificial intelligence.

Other potential applications include cosmology (like modelling the universe), medicine, and mathematics. Google has already used some of its results to improve human eye blink recognition in Google Glass. Writing in The Verge, Russell Brandom explains more:

The first practical application has been on Google Glass, as engineers put the quantum chips to work on Glass's blink detector, helping it to better distinguish between intentional winks and involuntary blinks. For engineering reasons, the quantum processor can never be installed in Glass, but together with Google's conventional server centers, it can point the way to a better blink-detecting algorithm. That would allow the Glass processor to detect blinks with better accuracy and using significantly less power. If successful, it could be an important breakthrough for wink-triggered apps, which have struggled with the task so far.

Cool! And cool video. Nice to see Richard Feynman make an appearance.

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A lot of theoretical biologists (right term?) have postulated that consciousness might actually lay at the quantum level in the human brain. Ergo, TERMINATORS.