April 12 2019
Clairvoyant Quantum Machine Created that Predicts Futures Before They Happen
Scientists have created a Back to the Future-style device that can predict alternative realities and potential futures. They built a…
Scientists have created a Back to the Future-style device that can predict alternative realities and potential futures. They built a quantum computer that can generate simultaneous ‘futures’, as if looking into a series of different crystal balls.
Working on a subatomic scale, it can simulate 16 timelines at most for photons – ‘packets’ of light – occupying different locations.
In the time travel movie Back To The Future, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the future is shown not to be fixed and unmovable, but a range of possibilities.
Only one timeline in which McFly’s parents fall in love allows him to be born. In another, he would cease to exist.
For excited scientists, the latest breakthrough is a practical demonstration of the weirdness of quantum mechanics, the set of rules that govern the subatomic world.
Dr Mile Gu, one of the scientists from Nanyang Technical University (NTU) in Singapore, said: ‘When we think about the future, we are confronted by a vast array of possibilities.
‘These possibilities grow exponentially as we go deeper into the future.
‘For instance, even if we have only two possibilities to choose from each minute, in less than half an hour there are 14 million possible futures.
‘In less than a day, the number exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.’
His research group realized that, at a much smaller scale, a quantum computer can examine all possible futures of a decision process.
It does this by placing them in a quantum ‘superposition’ – a kind of limbo in which different potential states occur simultaneously.
Only when the system is observed or disturbed does it ‘collapse’ into one state or another.
The scientists showed that a superposition of multiple potential futures was weighted by the probability of one or other occurring when the system collapsed.
The machine has already demonstrated one application – measuring how much our bias towards a specific choice in the present impacts the future.
‘Many current artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms learn by seeing how small changes in their behavior can lead to different future outcomes, so our techniques may enable quantum enhanced AIs to learn the effect of their actions much more efficiently.’ (Emphasis added. Read More)