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A screenshot of the new game, Quantum Minds, which will help the researchers study the human ability to solve problems in the game.

Researchers at Aarhus University are using computer games to tackle some of the fundamental problems of quantum computing, and to learn about the human brain.

Credit: CODER

Aarhus University researchers are using computer games to help them tackle some of the fundamental problems of quantum computing, while also learning about the human brain.

Associate professor Jacob Sherson says humans are able to approach problems in a way computers currently cannot, which can be useful in tackling the stubborn problems of quantum computing.

To tease out human solutions to such problems, Sherson and his colleagues developed Quantum Moves, a game that involves moving atoms around to score points. Sherson says the game has made it extremely easy for even a relative layman to solve complex quantum questions. He says using the game, "a player who'd only studied ninth-grade physics...was able to solve a quantum physics problem that you'd normally need a Ph.D. in physics just to understand."

At the same time that Quantum Moves is yielding solutions to quantum computing problems, it also is teaching researchers about how the human mind learns and approaches a problem. The Aarhus researchers are exploring the concept further with a new game, Quantum Minds, developed in partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, which seeks to gather more information about the human mind while also teaching computers how to approach problems in a more human way.

From Aarhus University
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