February 3, 2023

Artificial neurons go Quantum with photonic circuits

Artificial neurons go Quantum with photonic circuits

Physicists at the University of Vienna have now demonstrated a new device, called the Quantum Memristor, which combines Artificial Intelligence and Quantum technologies, unlocking unprecedented capabilities.

The experiment, carried out in collaboration with the National Research Council (CNR) and the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, has been realized on an integrated quantum processor operating on single photons.

The researchers have now demonstrated that it is possible to engineer a device that has the same behavior as a memristor, while acting on quantum states and being able to encode and transmit quantum information. In other words, a quantum memristor. Realizing such a device is challenging because the dynamics of a memristor tend to contradict typical quantum behavior.

By using single photons and exploiting their unique ability to propagate simultaneously in a superposition of two or more paths, the physicists have overcome the challenge. In their experiment, single photons propagate along waveguides laser-written on a glass substrate and are guided on a superposition of several paths. One of these paths is used to measure the flux of photons going through the device, and this quantity—through a complex electronic feedback scheme—modulates the transmission on the other output, thus achieving the desired memristive behavior. 

Besides demonstrating the quantum memristor, the researchers have provided simulations showing that optical networks with the quantum memristor can be used to learn on both classical and quantum tasks, hinting at the fact that the quantum memristor may be the missing link between Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. (Phys.org)

The work has been published in the journal Nature Photonics.

Read more.