Applied QBism and its Potential
Presented by John DeBrota
The Quantum Bayesian, or QBist, interpretation regards the quantum formalism to be a tool that a single agent may adopt to help manage their expectations for the consequences of their actions. In other words, quantum theory is an addition to decision theory, and its shape, we hope, can teach us something about the nature of reality. Beyond simple consistency, an interpretation is judged by its capacity to point the way forward. In the first half of the talk, I will highlight several ways in which my collaborators and I have applied QBist intuitions to pose and solve technical questions regarding the informational structure and conceptual function of quantum theory. At the root of many of these developments is the notion of a reference measurement, the key to a probabilistic representation of quantum theory. In this setting, we can explore the boundary of the quantum reasoning structure from a uniquely QBist angle. Working with such representations grants a new perspective and inspires questions which wouldn't have occurred otherwise; as examples, we will meet downstream results concerning quantum channels, discrete quasiprobability representations, and a variant of the information-disturbance tradeoff. Most recently, I have pursued ways in which QBism could be applied to the construction of new tools and strategies for existing problems in quantum information and computation. In the second half of the talk, we will encounter the first of these, an agent-based modeling proposal where multiple, suitably interacting, QBist decision-makers might collectively work out the solution to a task of interest in the right circumstances. I will describe some initial explorations of modeling agent belief dynamics in two contexts: first, an expectation sampling interaction with an eye to agential agreement, and, second, a setting where agents are players of quantum games. In the future, we imagine it is possible that a sufficiently mature development of the agent-based program we have begun could suggest new approaches to quantum algorithm design.
4:00 pm, Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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