NASA & Google Team Up For AI Research
Kyle Maxey posted on May 17, 2013 |
quantum, ai, google, nasa, lab, future, data

At its week-long conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it is partnering with NASA to further the field of artificial intelligence.

Google has long had ambitions for revolutionizing the way that people interact with technology. From their maps application to their augmented reality Glass headset, the focus of Google’s products has always been to create a technological fabric that’s seamlessly overlaid on reality. So it makes perfect sense that, as their technologies develop, they’ll need smarter machines to keep up with our demands.

To head this eventuality off at the pass, Google is investing in what it calls the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. Headquartered at NASA’s Ames Research Center, the lab will be armed with a state-of-the-art 512-qubit D-Wave Two quantum computer, which will be used to research machine learning.

According to Harmut Nevin, a director of engineering at Google, “Machine learning is all about building better models of the world to make more accurate predictions.” Under his guidance, Google will use its new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab to answer some of the most hard-to-solve problems in computer science, with the ultimate goal of creating more technology to sell.

But quantum computers aren’t quite the same as traditional computers. Rather than storing information in a binary state, quantum computers keep information in a format known as “qubits” – a blended state which can represent both a 1 and a 0 simultaneously. This difference can easily pose problems for application designers not used to using qubits, which is basically all of them. Nevin, however, is confident that the company will be able to put the technology to good use. Writing at Google’s research blog, he states, “We’ve already developed some quantum machine learning algorithms. One produces very compact, efficient recognizers — very useful when you’re short on power, as on a mobile device. Another can handle highly highly polluted training data, where a high percentage of the examples are mislabeled, as they often are in the real world.”

As of this writing, D-Wave is busy installing its quantum computer at the Ames Research facility. The lab is expected to be fully operational sometime during Q3 of this year, with 20% of its computing time being dedicated to outside research.polluted training data, where a high percentage of the examples are mislabeled, as they often are in the real world.”

Image Courtesy of D-Wave

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