Generative adversarial networks are an emerging technique with wide applications in machine learning, which have achieved dramatic success in a number of challenging tasks including image and video generation. When equipped with quantum processors, their quantum counterparts called quantum generative adversarial networks (QGANs) may even exhibit exponential advantages in certain machine learning applications.
Researchers from a number of Chinese academic institutions report an experimental implementation of a QGAN using a programmable superconducting processor, in which both the generator and the discriminator are parameterized via layers of single- and multi-qubit quantum gates. The programmed QGAN runs automatically several rounds of adversarial learning with quantum gradients to achieve a Nash equilibrium point, where the generator can replicate data samples that mimic the ones from the training set. The implementation is promising to scale up to noisy intermediate-scale quantum devices, paving the way for experimental explorations of quantum advantages in practical applications with near-term quantum technologies.