Search giant Baidu has released a toolkit for machine learning that allowing researchers to build and train quantum neural networks.

Why it matters: Tech giants around the globe have increased their focus on quantum computing. Baidu set up its Institute for Quantum Computing in March 2018.

  • Meanwhile, Google released its quantum machine learning framework, Tensorflow Quantum, in April this year.
  • Microsoft has also pushed to provide quantum computing solutions to the public. In November, the company released a private preview of Azure Quantum, a quantum cloud computing service, with plans for wider rollout in the future.

Details: Baidu’s Paddle Quantum, built on top of the company’s deep learning platform Paddlepaddle, consists of a set of machine learning toolkits, including quantum development tools, a quantum chemistry library, and a set of features for optimization.

  • Baidu claims that the toolkit is the first deep learning framework in China to support quantum machine learning.
  • The platform allows develops to build simple quantum neural networks or develop their own models from the ground up, Baidu said.
  • Paddle Quantum is “more flexible” than similar systems by other companies, according to Baidu. The company claims that it has been able to simplify the implementation of a promising quantum algorithm by 50%.
  • Dubbed the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm, researchers believe it could outperform classical algorithms in the next few years.

“From now on, researchers in the quantum field can use Paddle Quantum to develop quantum artificial intelligence, and our deep learning enthusiasts have a shortcut to learning quantum computing.”

—Duan Runyao, director of Baidu’s Quantum Computing Institute

Context: As development of traditional computers reaches its peak, researchers are looking to quantum computing to drive the next wave of artificial intelligence. The technology is based on quantum mechanics and is still in its infancy.

  • Nevertheless, Google scientists last year said they have made a major breakthrough in quantum computing. The company claimed that they had developed a quantum processor that could complete in just seconds a computation that would take a traditional computer thousands of years.
  • Chinese companies including Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei have also set up quantum computing research labs.

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.