This partnership furthers the CDL's objective of laying the foundation for high-growth software companies that leverage quantum machine learning. Quantum computing may soon provide advantages over classical computing in terms of faster optimization, efficient sampling, and reduction in computational complexity, all of which are relevant to machine learning algorithms.
The Rigetti partnership will be the CDL's first collaboration with a general-purpose gate-based quantum computing company and will give its quantum machine learning start-ups access to Rigetti's Cloud-connected systems.
"We announced the Quantum Machine Learning Programme earlier this year with founding technology partner D-Wave Systems, and since then, the interest from applicants, investors, and technology partners has exceeded our expectations", stated Daniel Mulet, Associate Director of Quantum Machine Learning, CDL. "The partnership with Rigetti expands the options of quantum systems available for algorithm development for the companies in our programme."
Rigetti will provide hands-on training in its Forest programming environment, including the quantum/classical instruction set Quil, hybrid programming models, and algorithm libraries. Rigetti's Cloud-connected superconducting quantum processors and its Quantum Virtual Machine will be available to the CDL start-ups for the duration of the programme.
"Quantum machine learning will power some of the most impactful and exciting near-term applications of quantum computing. The start-ups at the CDL are at the leading edge of this technology and will get early access to Rigetti's general-purpose quantum hardware and to Forest, one of the most sophisticated quantum programming environments in the world", stated Madhav Thattai, Chief Strategy Officer, Rigetti. "We're looking forward to working with these pioneering individuals and teams to help create and accelerate the quantum application ecosystem."
"Both Rigetti and the CDL share a common belief that near-term applications of quantum computing will be useful for machine learning applications, so we are delighted that they are investing in building the ecosystem with us", stated Rachel Harris, Director of the CDL. "Rigetti's rate of progress and focus on applications make them a key partner for us in this effort."
Over the summer, applications were submitted from around the world to be part of the CDL's first Quantum Machine Learning cohort. Forty individuals and/or teams were selected for the inaugural year-long programme, which begins September 5th, 2017 with an intensive introductory bootcamp led by Dr. Peter Wittek, author of the first textbook on quantum machine learning.
Founders will then go through the CDL's nine-month objective-setting program, coached by carefully selected entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists, all of whom have track records of success in commercial applications of machine learning. Participating start-ups are eligible for $80,000 in pre-seed investment through a partnership with Bloomberg Beta, Data Collective, and Spectrum 28. Participants will also benefit from business development and implementation support from MBA students at the Rotman School of Management.
Rigetti has posted a blog about the partnership.