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Computer Science

520px illustration for Quantum Supremacy
The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.

520px illustration of quantum computing neural networks
The Future of Quantum Computing

Job One for Quantum Computers: Boost Artificial Intelligence

The fusion of quantum computing and machine learning has become a booming research area. Can it possibly live up to its high expectations?

520 px illustration of a quantum computer producing errors
The Future of Quantum Computing

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.

A blue person made of code walks down a pink road patterned with hexagons
algorithms

Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits.

Photo of AlphaGo board by dreamdream | Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

Artificial Intelligence Learns to Learn Entirely on Its Own

A new version of AlphaGo needed no human instruction to figure out how to clobber the best Go player in the world — itself.

Abstractions blog

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

The real-world version of the famous “traveling salesman problem” finally gets a good-enough solution.

Information dog bottleneck
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.

Brain made of wires
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

A tiny self-organized mesh full of artificial synapses recalls its experiences and can solve simple problems. Its inventors hope it points the way to devices that match the brain’s energy-efficient computing prowess.