Google Is Using Minecraft To Find The Computer Geniuses Of Tomorrow

If you want to find the computer geniuses of tomorrow, you could do worse than to check out which kids are playing Minecraft. That's what Google's thinking, anyway, with a new Minecraft mod that adds quantum behaviours to the game.

In a new Google post, the Google Quantum A.I. Lab Team says that they've released a mod called qCraft to enable kids (and adults) to play around with blocks that exhibit behaviours like quantum entanglement, superposition and observer dependency.

We built the Quantum A.I. Lab to explore the potential of quantum computing, and figure out what questions we should be asking. One question is clear: Where will future quantum computer scientists come from?

Our best guess: Minecraft.

Millions of kids are spending a whole lot of hours in Minecraft, not just digging caves and fighting monsters, but building assembly lines, space shuttles, and programmable computers, all in the name of experimentation and discovery.

So how do we get these smart, creative kids excited about quantum physics?

We talked to our friends at MinecraftEdu and Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter and came up with a fun idea: a Minecraft modpack called qCraft. It lets players experiment with quantum behaviours inside Minecraft's world, with new blocks that exhibit quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency.

Of course, qCraft isn't a perfect scientific simulation, but it's a fun way for players to experience a few parts of quantum mechanics outside of thought experiments or dense textbook examples.

We don't even know the full potential of what you can make with qCraft, but we're excited to see what Minecraft's players can discover.

This isn't the first time Mojang's building game has been used to teach kids — heck, we toured a Minecraft-enhanced second grade class all the way back in 2011 — and it certainly won't be the last.

I asked my brother in-law, who is (literally) a rocket scientist, to explain some of these concepts to me. He used guitar strings and burritos to paint some pictures that I started to get my head around, but despite his best efforts, the whole thing is still pretty abstract to me. I'm just a caveman; I fell in some ice, and later got thawed out and given a saxophone and some video games. Then again, I have a feeling that actually doing some of this stuff in Minecraft would make it all much more grok-able.

You can get qCraft as part of the Tekkit, Hexxit or Feed the Best Unleashed modpacks, or download it directly — more info is at their website.

(Via Wired)


Comments

    I can't belive it minecraft has come this far
    Iv been playing since version 1.2.5 a little befor the beta.

    I'm definently going to try this!!!

    The universe created through Minecraft... It might seem unimaginable now, but quantum processors will eventually accomplish some incredible things, like run computer simulated universes that are indistinguishable from our own 'real' universe, even complete with simulated minds. There is a new book that discusses the implications of quantum computers on 'simulations' (I.e., 'On Computer Simulated Universes'). The author writes that if quantum computers can someday run simulated universes, then there must also must be a series of computer simulated universes contained within computer simulated universes. With many active simulations, there would be a range of physical properties differing from universe to universe. Universes with more positive physical traits to support life would produce better environments for more advanced civilizations to evolve to the point where they themselves would create their own computer simulated universes. And this process would continue. So over time, universes would evolve with the physics more favorable for life (i.e., Computer Simulated Universes Evolutionary Hypothesis''). The book conjectures that universes, over time, have been naturally selected for particular physical properties, with an end result of creating more and more habitable universes. In other words, this could explain how the laws of physics might actually evolve inside a Matryoshkaverse (like the Russian wooden dolls with one or more dolls each nested inside another).

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now