Auto-tuning qubits using AI

This artist's conception shows how the research team used artificial intelligence (AI) and other computational techniques to tune a quantum dot device for use as a qubit. The dot's electrons are corralled by electrical gates, whose adjustable voltages raise and lower the "peaks" and "valleys" in the large circles. As the gates push the electrons around, sensitive measurement of the moving electrons creates telltale lines in the black and white images, which the AI uses to judge the state of the dot and then make successive adjustments to the gate voltages. Eventually the AI converts a single dot (leftmost large circle) to a double dot (rightmost), a process that takes tedious hours for a human operator. Credit: B. Hayes / NIST

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has proposed that the best way to tune qubits is using an AI.

The team outlines a way to teach an AI to make an interconnected set of adjustments to tiny quantum dots, which are among the many promising devices for creating the qubits that would form the switches in a quantum computer’s processor.

Precisely tweaking the dots is crucial for transforming them into properly functioning qubits, and until now the job had to be done painstakingly by human operators, requiring hours of work to create even a small handful of qubits for a single calculation. Especially because a practical quantum computer with many interacting qubits would require far more dots—and adjustments—than a human could manage.

The team’s paper has been published in the journal Physical Review Applied.

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