IonQ claims breakthrough for using quantum to help model human cognition
Human cognition has always been too complex for classical computers to make sense of, but quantum computers may yet prove to have greater potential for helping in the modeling of human thought processes
IonQ, working with an international team of researchers, has taken a step in that direction with recent research using quantum computing hardware to model human cognition. A resulting paper describes what IonQ claims is “the world’s first publicly known method in which basic human cognition models have been run on quantum hardware,” and could be a step toward improving decision-making models that imitate human thought, and driving other advances in generative AI and related fields.
“The potential impact of quantum computers capable of emulating human decision-making processes cannot be overstated, as such a future comes closer to reality” said Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ. “This breakthrough holds immense potential for fields like generative AI, empowering the creation of sophisticated and nuanced artificial intelligence systems capable of generating highly realistic and creative outputs. With quantum computing’s unparalleled computational power, today’s research lays the crucial groundwork for developing an intricate network of correlations that will fuel the pursuit of future innovations.”
The research paper represents a starting point for developing quantum circuits that implement mathematical models of cognition, encoding mental states in qubit registers and cognitive operations using different gates and measurements, IonQ stated.
The research, according to IonQ, was inspired by attempts that cognitive psychologists have made for decades to understand the correlation between the ways questions are posed and how a participant would respond. The notion of quantum probability effectively describes some of these relationships, IonQ said, but quantum computing technology has only just evolved to the point where quantum probability models could be investigated and tested on quantum hardware.
“IonQ’s research demonstrates how quantum circuits can represent basic human cognition between two related concepts, categorizing how the closeness of one proposition can influence another more than it would have had they been isolated,” the company stated. “In the future, more complex circuits can potentially lead to better decision making models which can be used to anticipate results of elections, unravel unconscious biases, or produce increasingly tailored ads.”
IonQ also has a blog post that delves more deeply into the research.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.