People hope that it may be an example of AdS/CFT correspondence that can be completely understood.
AdS/CFT correspondence itself has been an incredibly important idea in the hep-th community over the past almost twenty years. Yet it remains a conjecture. In the typical situation, quantities computed on one side of the duality are hard to check on the other. One is computing in a weakly coupled field theory to learn about some ill defined quantum gravity or string theory. Alternatively, one is computing in classical gravity to learn about some strongly interacting field theory where the standard tool box is not particularly useful.
The original hope was that SYK (which is effectively a quantum mechanical model) might have a classical dilaton-gravity dual description in an AdS$_2$ background. That hope seems to have faded among other reasons because the spectrum of operator dimensions does not seem to match. Yet, there still might be a "quantum gravity" dual, for example a string theory in AdS$_2$. String theories in certain special backgrounds have been straightforwardly analyzed.
This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2017-02-14 10:44 (UTC), posted by SE-user user2309840