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Introducing the World’s First Game for a Quantum Computer

03/04/2017 12:23 AM

"I just made a computer game. Not for the PS4 or XBox or even the Nintendo Switch. I made it for a quantum computer. I played it on an actual, real-life quantum computer, and you can too.

It is not a very complex game. Current quantum computers aren’t capable of all that much. It’s basically a quantum version of rock/paper/scissors. But it does contain a glimmer of what will make quantum computing special.

The quantum computer I use is the one made by IBM, and offered up to the cloud for us all to mess around with.

It has five quantum bits. One of them is going to act as a referee, telling us who wins. The other four are all potential opponents. Though we’ll only ever play against one at a time.

To make a game for quantum bits, we have look at the set of things that we are allowed to do to them. For inspiration, we can look at what’s possible for normal bits.

The simplest thing we can do with a normal bit is called a NOT gate. It flips bits from 0 to 1 and 1 to 0. Quantum computers can do these to, but they can also be a bit more fancy. For example, they can do half a NOT, leaving the quantum bit in a strange limbo state between 0 and 1. A quantum superposition, just like Schrödinger’s cat.

Actually, there are two ways to do half a NOT. We’ll abuse notational slightly and call them S and S dagger. If you do two S gates, you’ll get a whole NOT. No surprise there: that’s what two halves do! Two S dagger gates will also give you a NOT. But if you have one of each, they’ll cancel out. You’ll end up back where you started.

This is the mechanic behind the game. We’ll have two players. One wants to do a NOT to the referee bit. The other wants to leave it as it is. Both can choose one of two moves: S and S dagger. If they both choose the same, the one who wants the NOT wins. If they choose different, the other one wins.

One of the players is going to be a human. The other will be another quantum bit. We’ll put the quantum player in a superposition of choosing S and S dagger. Then we’ll interact it with the referee, putting them in a superposition of doing an S and doing and S dagger. We will be in a state of winning and losing at the same time. Not even the gods will know which way it will go.

Then we measure. We look at the referee. We see if it’s been changed by a NOT or not. If it has, we win!

This may all seem a bit random. Just as rock/paper/scissors does. But actually, there are tactics for both. Play enough and you’ll find that your opponent isn’t completely random. Noise messes up the pure, unadulterated randomness of quantum bits. Your opponents will become mortal and weak. Each experiences noise differently, so they’ll all have a different character to learn. They will have biases you can exploit, ensuring that you come out on top most of the time. Though that may just mean winning 51% of the time rather than 50%.

Unless you get IBM to build you a quantum processor of your own, you probably won’t be getting too well acquainted with your quantum frenemies. You’ll only be able to run a few games a day. The main fun will come in knowing that you are using a quantum computer, cutting edge technology, to play a crappy rock/paper/scissors clone. If that’s not living the dream. I don’t know what is.

The game is available in two versions, both available here. The game is best played using the ProjectQ version (using the .py file). It can also be played directly using the IBM Quantum Experience interface (using the .qasm file). In either case, you’ll need a Quantum Experience account to access their device.

I also aim to make a Quantum Battleships for two humans in a week or two. So look out for that!"

source

-----

I can't wait for Heisenberg's version of Pong to come out. You know, where neither player quite knows where the ball is or how fast it's moving?

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#1

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 2:35 AM

Slow night?

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 10:18 AM

Slow as phuque.

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#2

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 7:45 AM

I prefer to play Cat/Box/Scissors with real cats, boxes and scissors.

I also have other games too! 'Kick the cat','Toss the kitty' and 'Smash the cat in the refrigerator door' are also common games in my house!

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 3:47 PM

I have a cat that would like to play with you, just make sure you have lots of Bandaids, cause your gonna bleed.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 6:17 PM

What does Del have to say about that?

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#6

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 10:39 PM

Oh you are suggesting that the great IF has been replaced by the NOT.
May I remind all about some IF quantum perspectives.


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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 11:27 PM

It seems the source link on my OP isn't working.

Dr. James Wooten wrote the piece. He's a Quantum computation researcher at the University of Basel.

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#8

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/04/2017 11:40 PM

Finally, someone has answered the age old question as to whether the chicken or the egg came first.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/06/2017 7:19 AM

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/07/2017 10:42 PM

Ha !

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#9

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/05/2017 1:26 AM

NOT necessarily .....

"Time to find a new brain teaser—the chicken and egg question has been solved. The egg wins.

If that answer doesn’t satisfy you, here’s why. First, like everything else, chickens evolved. At some point, a not-chicken became a chicken. (Is this wehere the quantum computer comes in??). And that chicken had to have come out of an egg, which existed before the not-chicken. Popular Science explains:

Another way to look at the question would be to ask which came first in evolutionary history. Once again, the egg takes precedence. Many characteristics of the modern avian egg—namely an oblong, asymmetrical shape and a hardened shell—were in place before birds diverged from dinosaurs about 150 million years ago. “A lot of the traits that we see in bird eggs evolved prior to birds in theropod dinosaurs,” says Darla Zelenitsky, of the University of Calgary.

So eggs were around a long time before chickens. Something like 150 million years before them. Of course, eggs didn’t always look like they do now, but they were still eggs. Okay, so clearly eggs came first. But ASAP science refines the question. They ask: what came first, the chicken or the chicken egg. This one isn’t as clear. Here’s their explanation .....

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/problem-solved-the-egg-came-first-6910803/#Xbfck77srQP55KV6.99

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#10

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/05/2017 10:09 AM

The chicken & the egg is a non sensical answer, all games are meant for fun, imagination doesn't need explanation. When someone thinks chicken and egg, they think chicken-chicken & chicken-egg.

Although popular science is a nice magazine for general knowledge, it's hardly the higher level literature periodical, it wasn't meant to be. I would expect on cr4 engineering forum that an article would be cited from the journal of paleontology or other such.

Clearly, Andrew spent some time deviseing his game, research and development, up onto implementation. I would love to play it just as soon as he installs a video & audio driver.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Introducing the world’s first game for a quantum computer

03/05/2017 2:27 PM

Thanks but I did not devise this game. See #7.

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