Ruiz-Gonzalez, C; Arlt, S, Petermann, J; Sayyad, S; Jaouni, T; Karimi, E; Tischler, N; Gu, X; Krenn, M

Photons are the physical system of choice for performing experimental tests of the foundations of quantum mechanics. Furthermore, photonic quantum technology is a main player in the second quantum revolution, promising the development of better sensors, secure communications, and quantum-enhanced computation. These endeavors require generating specific quantum states or efficiently performing quantum tasks. The design of the corresponding optical experiments was historically powered by human creativity but is recently being automated with advanced computer algorithms and artificial intelligence. While several computer-designed experiments have been experimentally realized, this approach has not yet been widely adopted by the broader photonic quantum optics community. The main roadblocks consist of most systems being closed-source, inefficient, or targeted to very specific use-cases that are difficult to generalize. Here, we overcome these problems with a highly-efficient, open-source digital discovery framework PyTheus, which can employ a wide range of experimental devices from modern quantum labs to solve various tasks. This includes the discovery of highly entangled quantum states, quantum measurement schemes, quantum communication protocols, multi-particle quantum gates, as well as the optimization of continuous and discrete properties of quantum experiments or quantum states. PyTheus produces interpretable designs for complex experimental problems which human researchers can often readily conceptualize. PyTheus is an example of a powerful framework that can lead to scientific discoveries – one of the core goals of artificial intelligence in science. We hope it will help accelerate the development of quantum optics and provide new ideas in quantum hardware and technology.