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It's important to note that the researchers are not suggesting that the brain is a quantum computer; they specifically note that their report uses quantum dynamics only metaphorically.
Read more at: phys.org...
By zapping complexes of photosynthetic molecules with lasers, the authors of the paper were able to show that the excitons use quantum mechanics to make their journey through the photocomplex more efficient. The experimental evidence was strong and compelling. The authors also speculated that the excitons were performing a particular quantum computation algorithm called a quantum search, in which the wave-like nature of propagation allows the excitons to zero in on their target. As it turns out, the excitons were performing a different kind of quantum algorithm called a quantum walk, but the “crackpot” fact remained: Quantum computation was helping the bacteria move energy from point A to point B.
How could tiny bacteria be performing the kind of sophisticated quantum manipulations that it takes human beings a room full of equipment to perform?
Your Android phone (or iPhone, if that's how you roll) is an impressive machine, with computing speeds and storage capacities thousands of times those of desktop PCs from only years ago. If Moore's Law holds up, your smart watch may outshine today's phones the way today's phones eclipse old PCs.
But no matter how powerful these machines become, they may never develop true intelligence if we continue to rely on conventional computing technology. According to the authors of a paper published in the journal Physical Review X last July, however, adding a dash of quantum mechanics could do the trick.
Quantum walks, on the other hand, describe a walker who doesn't exist at one spot at a time, but instead is distributed over many locations with varying probability of being at any one of them. Instead of taking a random step to the left or right for example, the quantum walker has taken both steps. There is some probability that you will find the walker in one place or the other, but until you make a measurement the walker exists in both.
That's not to say you'd need to make a full-blown quantum computer to build a truly intelligent machine - only part of an otherwise classical computer would need to be supplemented with a bit of quantum circuitry. That's good because progress toward developing a stand-alone quantum computer has been about as slow as the progress toward artificial intelligence. Combining artificial intelligence systems with quantum circuitry could be the recipe we need to build the HAL 9000s and R. Daneel Olivaws of the future