Getting humans to do quantum optimization - user acquisition, engagement and early results from the citizen cyberscience game Quantum Moves


  • Andreas Lieberoth Aarhus University
  • Mads Kock Pedersen Aarhus University
  • Andreea Catalina Marin Aarhus University
  • Tilo Planke Aarhus University
  • Jacob Friis Sherson Aarhus University



game, citizen science, computer algorithms


The game Quantum Moves was designed to pit human players against computer algorithms, combining their solutions into hybrid optimization, to control a scalable quantum computer. In this midstream report, we open our design process and present the constitutive building stages. We present our approach starting with designing a core gameplay around quantum simulations, to putting extra game elements in place to frame, structure and motivate players’ difficult path from internet flâneur to competent science contributors. Among statistical predictors for retention and in-game high scores, the data from our first year suggest that people recruited based on real-world physics interest and via real-world events, but only with an intermediate science education, are more likely to become engaged and skilled contributors. We discuss this relationship between in-world and in-game factors on intrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and its implications for using real live humans to do hybrid optimization via initially simple, but very cognitively complex games.

Author Biography

Andreas Lieberoth, Aarhus University

 --  Andreas Lieberoth  Ph.d. fellow  Aarhus University  School of Business and Social Sciences  Department of psychology and behavioural sciences         +  Interacting Minds Centre (IMC)  Centre for Community Driven Research (CODER)


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How to Cite

Lieberoth, A., Pedersen, M. K., Marin, A. C., Planke, T., & Sherson, J. F. (2014). Getting humans to do quantum optimization - user acquisition, engagement and early results from the citizen cyberscience game Quantum Moves. Human Computation, 1(2).