Baidu Quantum Computing Head says it’s the key to AI development

  • Chinese search giant Baidu is investing in quantum computing to accelerate search and AI applications.
  • Baidu’s Quantum Chief says the technology will “play an important role” in the future of AI.
  • Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are competing in the early quantum computing market.

Runyao Duan, director of the quantum computing research institute of China’s search giant, said that a relatively new area of ​​quantum computing will “play an important role” in Baidu’s future.

in the meantime American tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM and Google are devoting resources to their own quantum computing efforts, Baidu, e-commerce giant Alibaba, tech conglomerate Tencent, and a few small start-ups represent China’s own big bets on emerging areas.

Quantum computers are expected to be exponentially more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers, enabling them to handle some of the most complex problems, from logistics to drug discovery to finance. increase.

As part of that, Baidu launched its quantum computing efforts in 2018 with a focus on AI use. If Baidu could nail quantum computing, Duan told Insider that it could make the company’s core business more powerful and efficient.

“One of the biggest services we offer is search,” Duan told Insider. “This is a very time-consuming task. Fortunately, quantum computers can actually speed up this task.”

While companies such as IBM and Google have invested in building quantum hardware and custom quantum chips, Baidu is more focused on the software side of the equation. It aims to allow developers to program quantum computers using popular languages ​​such as Python, and is open focused on helping developers build AI applications. Updated the source PaddlePaddle project to add tools for building quantum driven software.

“We want to make this quantum force available to ordinary people and ordinary people without knowing much about quantum mechanics,” said Duane.

Especially in the case of AI, Duan praises Quantum’s potential to speed up development. “Teaching” how to classify data into AI systems is a daunting task for modern processors, but it is also the most basic aspect of machine learning. Quantum computing has the potential to change the game.

“Quantum computing has this huge advantage,” says Duan. “You can dramatically speed up this kind of task.”

The Government of China has made several strategic investments in quantum computing, including the National Technical Commission, which supports the standardization and commercialization of quantum computing. $ 10 billion investment In the construction of the Quantum Computing Research Center.

Alibaba has partnered as part of it In collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Quantum Taizhang Quantum Simulator We have launched our own cloud development platform for quantum computing. Chinese tech giant Tencent has also built its own quantum lab.Still, quantum computing is still a very early field, and experts say it is. It takes 5 to 10 years to become mainstream In a meaningful way.

Charlie Dai, Forrester’s chief analyst, told the insider:

Whoever “wins” the mainstream quantum computing competition, Baidu says Baidu wants to make sure its software works on common hardware.

“We have to make sure we’re doing what we’re good at,” Duane said. “Software, algorithms, and quantum platforms are a very viable way to bridge applications.”

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Baidu Quantum Computing Head says it’s the key to AI development

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