#53 Quantum Natural Language Processing - Prof. Bob Coecke (Oxford)

05.19.2021 - By Machine Learning Street Talk

Download our free app to listen on your phone

Bob Coercke is a celebrated physicist, he's been a Physics and Quantum professor at Oxford University for the last 20 years. He is particularly interested in Structure which is to say, Logic, Order, and Category Theory. He is well known for work involving compositional distributional models of natural language meaning and he is also fascinated with understanding how our brains work. Bob was recently appointed as the Chief Scientist at Cambridge Quantum Computing.

Bob thinks that interactions between systems in Quantum Mechanics carries naturally over to how word meanings interact in natural language. Bob argues that this interaction embodies the phenomenon of quantum teleportation.

Bob invented ZX-calculus, a graphical calculus for revealing the compositional structure inside quantum circuits - to show entanglement states and protocols in a visually succinct but logically complete way. Von Neumann himself didn't even like his own original symbolic formalism of quantum theory, despite it being widely used!

We hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation which might give you a lot of insight into natural language processing. 

Tim Intro [00:00:00]
The topological brain (Post-record button skit) [00:13:22]
Show kick off [00:19:31]
Bob introduction [00:22:37]
Changing culture in universities [00:24:51]
Machine Learning is like electricity [00:31:50]
NLP -- what is Bob's Quantum conception? [00:34:50]
The missing text problem [00:52:59]
Can statistical induction be trusted? [00:59:49]
On pragmatism and hybrid systems [01:04:42]
Parlour tricks, parsing and information flows [01:07:43]
How much human input is required with Bob's method? [01:11:29]
Reality, meaning, structure and language [01:14:42]
Replacing complexity with quantum entanglement, emergent complexity [01:17:45]
Loading quantum data requires machine learning [01:19:49] 
QC is happy math coincidence for NLP [01:22:30]
The Theory of English (ToE) [01:28:23] 
... or can we learn the ToE? [01:29:56] 
How did diagrammatic quantum calculus come about? [01:31:04
The state of quantum computing today [01:37:49] 
NLP on QC might be doable even in the NISQ era [01:40:48] 
Hype and private investment are driving progress [01:48:34] 
Crypto discussion (moved to post-show) [01:50:38] 
Kilcher is in a startup (moved to post show) [01:53:40
Debrief [01:55:26] 

More episodes from Machine Learning Street Talk