Google has said it is working on a super-fast "quantum" computer chip as part of a vision to one day have machines think like humans.
The internet titan added renowned researcher John Martinis and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the Quantum Artificial Intelligence team at Google, according to director of engineering Hartmut Neven.
The new hires are part of a "hardware initiative" to design and build chips operating on sub-atomic levels in ways making them exponentially faster than processors currently used in computers.
"With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimisation and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture," Mr Neven said of the quest for a transformative new chip.
Last year, Google's artificial intelligence lab partnered with US space agency NASA on quantum computing research.
Google, which is working on projects including self-driving cars and robots, has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in recent years.