Can quantum mechanics help us build intelligent learning agents? A defining signature of intelligent behavior is the capacity to learn from experience. However, a major bottleneck for agents to learn in real-life situations is the size and complexity of the corresponding task environment. Even in a moderately realistic environment, it may simply take too long to rationally respond to a given situation. If the environment is impatient, allowing only a certain time for a response, an agent may then be unable to cope with the situation and to learn at all. Here, we show that quantum physics can help and provide a quadratic speedup for active learning as a genuine problem of artificial intelligence. This result will be particularly relevant for applications involving complex task environments.