In a partnership with Google and independent, nonprofit research corporation Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Ames has established the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL) at its NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility. The laboratory houses a 512-qubit D-Wave Two™ quantum computer.
Support structure for installation of the D-Wave Vesuvius processor, which is cooled to 20 millikelvin (Source: NASA / J. Hardman)
Pages I came across describing D-Wave Two are however rather scarce with information on what NASA actually plans to do with it. Some vague explanation goes like this:
NASA researchers will use this system to investigate quantum algorithms that might someday dramatically improve the agency's ability to solve difficult optimization problems in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration. Applications relevant to NASA include machine learning, pattern recognition, mission planning and scheduling, distributed navigation and coordination, and system diagnostics and anomaly detection.
But apparently, NASA experts are available for interviews about quantum computing, so my question is:
Have these NASA QuAIL (Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) team experts been more descriptive about what they plan on using this quantum computer for during some interview? In particular, I mean if they have revealed any specific function it would serve, for some specific project, and when is it expected to prove useful? What role has Google in all of this?