Russia builds lab for developing quantum artificial intelligence

July 13, 2020, 7:23AMNuclear News

A quantum computer, such as this 50-bit version that IBM demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show in 2018, is capable of solving tasks inaccessible to the most powerful “classic ” supercomputer. (Photo: IBM)

Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, and the Russian Quantum Center (RQC) on July 7 announced the creation of the first laboratory in Russia to research and develop machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) methods on quantum computers, specializing in the application of these technologies in the nuclear industry. An agreement was signed between the RQC and Tsifrum, a Rosatom subsidiary that was created in 2019 to support the implementation of Rosatom’s digitalization strategy.

Details: The laboratory was created to pair RQC’s quantum information technology group and Tsifrum’s AI laboratory for the development of quantum computing. Its main task is the development of quantum machine learning technologies and quantum optimization. The creation of quantum computing technologies can drastically accelerate the solution of problems of optimization, processing of large data arrays, clustering, and classification. Another promising area is the use of machine learning and neural networks to study complex (multiparticle) quantum systems.

Rosatom said that global trends in the quantum computing field led to the lab’s formation as Russia seeks to ensure its competitiveness in global technology.

They said it: “The use of quantum computers in the field of artificial intelligence opens up unique opportunities due to the speed of analysis of source data and enumeration of various interdependencies in the search for patterns that is unattainable for traditional computing systems,” said Boris Makevnin, chief executive officer of Tsifrum. “At the same time, it is important to consider that all quantum calculators built to date in the world are, first of all, experimental systems. In order to move to their practical use, in addition to hardware, a software component is also needed—appropriate algorithms, libraries, tools. Therefore, our laboratory will focus on R&D, which will become the basis for solving several carefully selected and substantiated tasks.”

Ruslan Yunusov, head of Rosatom’s project office for creating a quantum computer, said, “We are confident that as a result of this joint work, innovative solutions to the most complex problems will be proposed, and not only in the nuclear industry .”

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