Google teams up with the University of California on quantum computing project

Google is putting together a research team looking at building new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics.

The team will be led by physicist John Martinis from the University of California Santa Barbara, who will join the firm's artificial intelligence project.

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The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is a collaboration between Google, NASA Ames Research Center and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to study the application of quantum optimisation with regard to artificial intelligence.

Google's director of engineering, Hartmut Neven, confirmed in a blog post that the project would utilise technology from D-Wave Systems, the company behind some of the most powerful quantum computers available commercially.

"With an integrated hardware group, the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture," he said.

The search engine giant has become increasingly involved in artificial intelligence research in recent years. Alongside its self-driving car and robotics projects, the firm also announced that it had acquired privately-held AI company, DeepMind Technologies back in January.

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Last month, it was also reported that Google has been secretly testing a drone delivery system in Australia for the past two years, suggesting that there could be other artificial intelligence projects that the firm is working on behind the scenes.