Quantum Machine Learning Is (Not) Science Fiction

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Quantum machine learning (QML) — the use of quantum computers to solve machine learning problems — is not only an exciting topic. It is also an excellent basis for science fiction. But, unfortunately, science fiction is a double-edged sword.

First, there is the scientific part. In quantum machine learning, everything scientific is full of physics jargon and mathematical equations. Few students have the perseverance to work through the bone-dry material. And even fewer teachers seem to try to teach the subject in a halfway interesting way, let alone understandable.

This is a severe problem for the field of QML. I want to tell my personal story. I did not have the good fortune to take a quantum computing class in college, not to mention a quantum machine learning course. When I first heard about it, I think it was around 2008, researchers had successfully entangled qubits and were able to control them.

I was the perfect target for the popular media that vividly illustrates superposition — a particle being in multiple states at once — and entanglement — distant particles that interact, even if they are at the other end of the universe.

Of course, Star Trek-like transportation came to mind when I heard that two physically separated particles…



Frank Zickert | Quantum Machine Learning

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