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Computer Science

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

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

January 24, 2018

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.

Q&A

How to Build a Robot That Wants to Change the World

November 1, 2017

And not destroy humanity in the process.

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

Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

October 24, 2017

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

October 18, 2017

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

October 5, 2017

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

September 21, 2017

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

September 20, 2017

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.

Digital question marks surrounded by vines
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious

September 19, 2017

Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.

Nash equilibrium maze
Game Theory

In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium

July 18, 2017

John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently.