Recent progress implies that a crossover between machine learning and quantum information processing benefits both fields. Traditional machine learning has dramatically improved the benchmarking and control of experimental quantum computing systems, including adaptive quantum phase estimation and designing quantum computing gates. On the other hand, quantum mechanics offers tantalizing prospects to enhance machine learning, ranging from reduced computational complexity to improved generalization performance. The most notable examples include quantum enhanced algorithms for principal component analysis, quantum support vector machines, and quantum Boltzmann machines. Progress has been rapid, fostered by demonstrations of midsized quantum optimizers which are predicted to soon outperform their classical counterparts. Further, we are witnessing the emergence of a physical theory pinpointing the fundamental and natural limitations of learning. Here we survey the cutting edge of this merger and list several open problems.
In this talk I will discuss some of the long-term challenges emerging with the effort of making deep learning a relevant tool for controlled scientific discovery in many-body quantum physics. The current state of the art of deep neural quantum states and learning tools will be discussed in connection with open challenging problems in condensed matter physics, including frustrated magnetism and quantum dynamics. Variational algorithms for a gate-based quantum computer, like the QAOA, prescribe a fixed circuit ansatz --- up to a set of continuous parameters --- that is designed to find a low-energy state of a given target Hamiltonian. After reviewing the relevant aspects of the QAOA, I will describe attempts to make the algorithm more efficient. The strategies I will explore are 1) tuning the variational objective function away from the energy expectation value, 2) analytical estimates that allow elimination of some of the gates in the QAOA circuit, and 3) using methods of machine learning to search the design space of nearby circuits for improvements to the original ansatz.
Studying general quantum many-body systems is one of the major challenges in modern physics because it requires an amount of computational resources that scales exponentially with the size of the system.Simulating the evolution of a state, or even storing its description, rapidly becomes intractable for exact classical algorithms. Recently, machine learning techniques, in the form of restricted Boltzmann machines, have been proposed as a way to efficiently represent certain quantum states with applications in state tomography and ground state estimation. Here, we introduce a new representation of states based on variational autoencoders. Variational autoencoders are a type of generative model in the form of a neural network. We probe the power of this representation by encoding probability distributions associated with states from different classes. Our simulations show that deep networks give a better representation for states that are hard to sample from, while providing no benefit for random states. This suggests that the probability distributions associated to hard quantum states might have a compositional structure that can be exploited by layered neural networks. Specifically, we consider the learnability of a class of quantum states introduced by Fefferman and Umans. Such states are provably hard to sample for classical computers, but not for quantum ones, under plausible computational complexity assumptions. The good level of compression achieved for hard states suggests these methods can be suitable for characterising states of the size expected in first generation quantum hardware.
Recently, increased computational power and data availability, as well as algorithmic advances, have led machine learning techniques to impressive results in regression, classification, data-generation and reinforcement learning tasks. Despite these successes, the proximity to the physical limits of chip fabrication alongside the increasing size of datasets are motivating a growing number of researchers to explore the possibility of harnessing the power of quantum computation to speed-up classical machine learning algorithms. Here we review the literature in quantum machine learning and discuss perspectives for a mixed readership of classical machine learning and quantum computation experts. Particular emphasis will be placed on clarifying the limitations of quantum algorithms, how they compare with their best classical counterparts and why quantum resources are expected to provide advantages for learning problems. Learning in the presence of noise and certain computationally hard problems in machine learning are identified as promising directions for the field. Practical questions, like how to upload classical data into quantum form, will also be addressed.
We extend the concept of transfer learning, widely applied in modern machine learning algorithms, to the emerging context of hybrid neural networks composed of classical and quantum elements. We propose different implementations of hybrid transfer learning, but we focus mainly on the paradigm in which a pre-trained classical network is modified and augmented by a final variational quantum circuit. This approach is particularly attractive in the current era of intermediate-scale quantum technology since it allows to optimally pre-process high dimensional data (e.g., images) with any state-of-the-art classical network and to embed a select set of highly informative features into a quantum processor. We present several proof-of-concept examples of the convenient application of quantum transfer learning for image recognition and quantum state classification. We use the cross-platform software library PennyLane to experimentally test a high-resolution image classifier with two different quantum computers, respectively provided by IBM and Rigetti.