An interesting article by Gerard Rinkus comparing the qualities of sparse distributed representation and quantum computing. In effect, he argues that because distributed representations can simultaneously represent multiple states, you get the same effect as a quantum superposition.
The article was originally titled “sparse distributed coding via quantum computing” but I think that gets the key conclusions backwards (maybe I’m wrong?).
The full article is here:
“I believe that SDR constitutes a classical instantiation of quantum superposition and that switching from localist representations to SDR, which entails no new, esoteric technology, is the key to achieving quantum computation in a single-processor, classical (Von Neumann) computer.”
I think that goes a bit too far. Yes, it would seem to have some of the same advantages as quantum computing, with the additional benefit of fitting classical computing technology that is mass manufactured at low cost.
However may be moot, now that true quantum computing looks to become practical:
All in all I think the analogy between sparse distributed representation and quantum computing is very thought-provoking.