In Brief

Google and NASA Team Up to Study Artificial Intelligence

The company that could be called the king of the Internet has joined up with the gatekeeper of space to study artificial intelligence by creating a computer that relies on the unique properties of quantum physics, NASA and Google have announced.

To study artificial intelligence and create this computer, the two giants are forming the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, which will be housed at NASA's Ames Research Center located in California's Silicon Valley. They expect the quantum computer, which will complete calculations way faster — by some estimates at least 3,600 times faster — than today's supercomputers, will be up and running by the third quarter of this year, the New York Times reported. The quantum computer would be able to find complex patterns in information in order to determine creative outputs, a process called machine learning.

"We believe quantum computing may help solve some of the most challenging computer science problems, particularly in machine learning. Machine learning is all about building better models of the world to make more accurate predictions," Google noted in a blog post announcing the partnership. "If we want to cure diseases, we need better models of how they develop. If we want to create effective environmental policies, we need better models of what's happening to our climate. And if we want to build a more useful search engine, we need to better understand spoken questions and what’s on the web so you get the best answer."

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Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.