TECHNOLOGY

Google encourages public to refresh quantum computing with free tool

The Google Quantum Virtual Machine can be used in research and education to accelerate courses and projects.

Google has its Quantum virtual machine available to the public for free to help people learn quantum programming skills.

The tech giant’s Quantum Virtual Machine emulates the experience and results of programming on one of the quantum computers in its research labs, from circuit validation to processor fidelity. And now everyone can see for themselves how it works.

Quantum computing combines computer science and quantum physics, two of the most important scientific developments of the 20th century.

Unlike a classical computer that uses binary bits, which can be one or zero, a quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits, which can be one, zero, or both at once. This means that quantum computers can solve certain types of problems much faster than a conventional computer.

Google is working on applying quantum computing to AI and machine learning. Many tasks in these areas depend on solving hard optimization problems or performing efficient sampling, which quantum computing could be very effective at.

Catherine Vollgraff Heidweiller, Google’s Quantum AI product manager, explains in a: blog post that her department has a long history of making its research tools accessible to the public.

“The race has begun to build fault-tolerant quantum computers and discover new algorithms to apply them in useful ways,” she wrote.

“Despite all the aspirations of quantum computing, the reality is that unlocking the potential to solve problems in the real world is just as challenging as building the quantum computers themselves. This got us thinking, how can we employ more people? to join us in looking for quantum algorithms and applications?”

By making the Quantum Virtual Machine freely available, the public can equip themselves with the quantum programming skills they need for application development.

“We hope you will find the Quantum Virtual Machine useful while exploring quantum computing, whether for research or education,” Heidweiller added.

“For educators and their students, the QVM makes it possible to complete courses and projects on a top-quality processor, without running into the long and unpredictable queues common in the industry.”

The Quantum Virtual Machine can be deployed directly from a colab notebook. Once implemented, the program can be run on a grid of virtual qubits. Users can use Cirq 1.0, the newly released version of Google’s open-source quantum programming framework, to build their program.

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