Grammar-aware sentence classification on quantum computers

7 Dec 2020  ·  Konstantinos Meichanetzidis, Alexis Toumi, Giovanni De Felice, Bob Coecke ·

Natural language processing (NLP) is at the forefront of great advances in contemporary AI, and it is arguably one of the most challenging areas of the field. At the same time, in the area of Quantum Computing (QC), with the steady growth of quantum hardware and notable improvements towards implementations of quantum algorithms, we are approaching an era when quantum computers perform tasks that cannot be done on classical computers with a reasonable amount of resources. This provides a new range of opportunities for AI, and for NLP specifically. In this work, we work with the Categorical Distributional Compositional (DisCoCat) model of natural language meaning, whose underlying mathematical underpinnings make it amenable to quantum instantiations. Earlier work on fault-tolerant quantum algorithms has already demonstrated potential quantum advantage for NLP, notably employing DisCoCat. In this work, we focus on the capabilities of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) hardware and perform the first implementation of an NLP task on a NISQ processor, using the DisCoCat framework. Sentences are instantiated as parameterised quantum circuits; word-meanings are embedded in quantum states using parameterised quantum-circuits and the sentence's grammatical structure faithfully manifests as a pattern of entangling operations which compose the word-circuits into a sentence-circuit. The circuits' parameters are trained using a classical optimiser in a supervised NLP task of binary classification. Our novel QNLP model shows concrete promise for scalability as the quality of the quantum hardware improves in the near future and solidifies a novel branch of experimental research at the intersection of QC and AI.

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