In a recent report published on Nanotechnology, physicists at Radboud University stated that they have moved a crucial step ahead in developing a “quantum brain.”
This means an entirely new generation of computers can become possible with an intelligent material that learns by a physical change in itself, similar to a human brain. This can open up a new area of challenges for AI professionals.
A research study in neuroscience hypothesizes that classical mechanics cannot talk about consciousness. An intelligent human brain learns by changing itself at the physical level. Thus, it can be clearly explained by applying quantum mechanical theories such as superposition and entanglement. This calls for creating materials that can mimic such behavior and form the basis of an entirely new generation of computer technology.
The Radboud researchers, led by Dr Alexander Khajetoorians found from their study that they can interconnect and pattern a network of single atoms, and in so doing, they can also mimic the autonomous behavior of synapses and neurons in the brain.
Understandably, there exists a need to find new methods to process and store information in an energy-efficient and effective way. Khajetoorians has pointed this out. As per him, there is a need of progress to reach fundamental research methods in game-changing technologies. The new ideas of making a “quantum brain” are related to the quantum properties of materials. This development can form strong foundations for artificial intelligence application. It can prove to be a landmark research for AI professionals.
The research in quantum brain area started in 2018 when Khajetoorians and team showed that there could be a method to store information in a single cobalt atom state. This is the method of building quantum mechanical systems. This is so done by manipulation of quantum states of atomic particles of a single atom. In the previous study, by applying a voltage to cobalt atom, the researchers were able to put forth the point that the state of superposition existed in the cobalt atom wherein the atom got changed to two states simultaneously (a 1 and 0 in binary terms). This established that the cobalt atoms could be used for the purpose of storing information.
At present, Khajetoorians and the team have discovered how to connect these cobalt atoms into tailored networks. This, it is believed, can mimic behavior of a model, which is like a human brain. These efforts are centered around the attempts to make artificial intelligence a possibility at a high level of existence. Thus, the researchers have thought of constructing on black phosphorous a network of cobalt atoms. Using this method, it has been claimed that one could design a material that stores and processes information like that of a human brain. One that adapts itself based on the input.
The researchers plan to scale up the entire system and come up with a large network of atoms. They also aim to dive into this quantum material that can be of applicability. Eventually, the AI engineers can construct a real machine from the quantum material. Also, they can build a self-learning computing device that turns out to be more energy efficient and smaller in size than today’s technology. But it requires to understand how quantum brain works. This is still a mystery. However, the destination seems nearby. Researchers will soon be able to understand and apply this new technology after an in-depth study which is the exciting part of it. AI engineers' role aligns here with the most required area of research and study in quantum brain using cobalt as the quantum material.
It is interesting to check what other researchers are talking about and working on concerning quantum brain. The next points state this by explaining as per the other researchers.
The Quromorphic project holds its focus on radically increasing the speed of the process and boosting the amount of input data. Thus, it can process the data building neural networks that function on the quantum mechanics principles. The networks so created will not be coded in the computer software but instead, directly be built in the hardware made up of superconducting electric circuits. The researchers believe that doing so will easily and without errors scale up processing of data.
Traditionally the computers used to store data in the units, which were known as bits. They could take one or two states, that is, 0 or 1. However, quantum computers today store data in "qubits". Qubits can take in several different states. Besides, every extra qubit in the system results in a doubling of its computing power. This can be because quantum computers can process huge amounts of data at the same time.
To date, only small quantum computers that present parts of this novel technology have been correctly built-up. Due to the motivation from the prospect of the significantly greater power in processing, several tech giants, institutes and start-up firms are today working on designs. However, they have still not reached a stage where they can perform better and superior to already existent non-quantum computers.
Quantum brain is a new term and study area that requires serious attention to progress the vast world of artificial intelligence. Researchers are looking at the possibility of applying cobalt as the chief material in its making to store the barrage of information.
Future researchers might be able to grasp the exact time in nanoseconds which takes place between the changes in cobalt as a binary (0 and 1) input. This is both interesting as well as challenging! It will up the game play as it is rightly called the “game changer.”