A black hole permanently scrambles information that can’t be recovered with any quantum machine learning algorithm, shedding new light on the classic Hayden-Preskill thought experiment.
A new theorem from the field of quantum machine learning has poked a major hole in the accepted understanding about information scrambling.
In the classic Hayden-Preskill thought experiment, a fictitious Alice tosses information such as a book into a black hole that scrambles the text. Her companion, Bob, can still retrieve it using entanglement, a unique feature of quantum physics.
However, the new work proves that fundamental constraints on Bob’s ability to learn the particulars of a given black hole’s physics means that reconstructing the information in the book is going to be very difficult or even impossible.
“Any information run through an information scrambler such as a black hole will reach a point where the machine learning algorithm stalls out on a barren plateau and thus becomes untrainable. That means the algorithm can’t learn scrambling processes,” said Andrew Sornborger a computer scientist at Los Alamos and coauthor of the paper.
Sornborger is Director of Quantum Science Center at Los Alamos and leader of the Center’s algorithms and simulation thrust. The Center is a multi-institutional collaboration led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Barren plateaus are regions in the mathematical space of optimization algorithms where the ability to solve the problem becomes exponentially harder as the size of the system being studied increases.