A startup uses quantum computing to boost machine learning


A company in California just proved that an exotic and potentially game-changing kind of computer can be used to perform a common form of machine learning. The feat raises hopes that quantum computers, which exploit the logic-defying principles of quantum physics to perform certain types of calculations at ridiculous speeds, could have a big impact on the hottest area of the tech industry: artificial intelligence. Researchers at Rigetti Computing, a company based in Berkeley, California, used one of its prototype quantum chips--a superconducting device housed within an elaborate super-chilled setup--to run what's known as a clustering algorithm. Clustering is a machine-learning technique used to organize data into similar groups. Rigetti is also making the new quantum computer--which can handle 19 quantum bits, or qubits--available through its cloud computing platform, called Forest, today.