Google Inc (GOOG) Partners With NASA For Quantum Computing Project

Posted May 16, 2013

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has partnered with NASA?s Ames Research Center to study ways that quantum computing can improve science and solve technology problems using machine learning.  Google’s Director of Engineering Hartmut Neven said that the new lab is called the ?Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.?  The lab will house a quantum computer from D-Wave Systems and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

“Machine learning is highly difficult. It?s what mathematicians call an ?NP-hard? problem. That?s because building a good model is really a creative act. As an analogy, consider what it takes to architect a house. You?re balancing lots of constraints — budget, usage requirements, space limitations, etc. — but still trying to create the most beautiful house you can. A creative architect will find a great solution. Mathematically speaking the architect is solving an optimization problem and creativity can be thought of as the ability to come up with a good solution given an objective and constraints,” said Neven in a blog post.

The 512-qubit quantum computer, known as the D-Wave Two, will be available for researchers during Q3 2013.

The quantum computer will be able to perform complex calculations thousands of times faster than existing supercomputers.  This past year, D-Wave sold their first commercial quantum computer to Lockheed Martin.  Lockheed uses the computers for testing and measuring jet aircraft designs.