Creative Destruction Lab Partners with Xanadu for Quantum Machine Learning

One of the country’s largest accelerator networks has announced a new partnership to push the boundaries of a breakthrough technology.

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) based in the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has partnered with Xanadu to further explore and expand quantum machine learning (QML). CDL announced their QML venture program last year with D-Wave Systems and Rigetti Computing as partners. The goal is to study and use QML to bring in faster optimization, efficient sampling, and reduction in computational complexity, all of which are relevant to machine learning algorithms.

This new partnership between CDL and Xanadu will allow ventures in the program to access and receive hands-on technical assistance to Xanadu’s Strawberry Fields, an open-source quantum software platform. Strawberry Fields boasts a QML toolbox built on TensorFlow, an open-source library created by Google Brain.

“CDL brings together the world’s greatest concentration of quantum technologists, software programmers, and investors,” said Nathan Killoran, head of the QML team at Xanadu. “We’re thrilled to support the program and its entrepreneurs as they develop real-world applications for quantum computers. Our built-in TensorFlow backend, machine learning toolbox, and interactive interface allow users to start programming a quantum computer and generating machine learning models without requiring a deep knowledge of quantum circuits.”

Xanadu will be the CDL’s first photonic-based partner, a technology powered by light that integrates quantum silicon photonic chips within existing hardware solutions that is especially useful when it comes to dealing with quantum cryptography. The Toronto-based Xanadu will expand the options of quantum systems available for algorithm development for the startups currently enrolled in the CDL program.

“Quantum machine learning is a nascent field, not only as a potential application for quantum computing but also as a tool to develop and program quantum processors,” said Daniel Mulet, CDL’s associate director who leads the program. “Xanadu’s dedicated QML team is developing new algorithms leveraging a photonic architecture for deep learning. They will support up to 25 projects this year and we look forward to the scalable, high-growth technology companies that will emerge.”

“It will be interesting to see how our companies will use Strawberry Fields to create innovative solutions to some of the most computationally complex problems.”

Alumni from the first QML cohort are already tackling problems such as designing efficient materials for OLEDs and learning how to predict protein folding to create cutting-edge medications and pharmaceuticals.