Collaborating Authors


Planning in Stochastic Environments with Goal Uncertainty Artificial Intelligence

We present the Goal Uncertain Stochastic Shortest Path (GUSSP) problem -- a general framework to model path planning and decision making in stochastic environments with goal uncertainty. The framework extends the stochastic shortest path (SSP) model to dynamic environments in which it is impossible to determine the exact goal states ahead of plan execution. GUSSPs introduce flexibility in goal specification by allowing a belief over possible goal configurations. The unique observations at potential goals helps the agent identify the true goal during plan execution. The partial observability is restricted to goals, facilitating the reduction to an SSP with a modified state space. We formally define a GUSSP and discuss its theoretical properties. We then propose an admissible heuristic that reduces the planning time using FLARES -- a start-of-the-art probabilistic planner. We also propose a determinization approach for solving this class of problems. Finally, we present empirical results on a search and rescue mobile robot and three other problem domains in simulation.

Robots as Powerful Allies for the Study of Embodied Cognition from the Bottom Up Artificial Intelligence

A large body of compelling evidence has been accumulated demonstrating that embodiment - the agent's physical setup, including its shape, materials, sensors and actuators - is constitutive for any form of cognition and as a consequence, models of cognition need to be embodied. In contrast to methods from empirical sciences to study cognition, robots can be freely manipulated and virtually all key variables of their embodiment and control programs can be systematically varied. As such, they provide an extremely powerful tool of investigation. We present a robotic bottom-up or developmental approach, focusing on three stages: (a) low-level behaviors like walking and reflexes, (b) learning regularities in sensorimotor spaces, and (c) human-like cognition. We also show that robotic based research is not only a productive path to deepening our understanding of cognition, but that robots can strongly benefit from human-like cognition in order to become more autonomous, robust, resilient, and safe.

From Data to Actions in Intelligent Transportation Systems: a Prescription of Functional Requirements for Model Actionability Artificial Intelligence

Advances in Data Science are lately permeating every field of Transportation Science and Engineering, making it straightforward to imagine that developments in the transportation sector will be data-driven. Nowadays, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) could be arguably approached as a "story" intensively producing and consuming large amounts of data. A diversity of sensing devices densely spread over the infrastructure, vehicles or the travelers' personal devices act as sources of data flows that are eventually fed to software running on automatic devices, actuators or control systems producing, in turn, complex information flows between users, traffic managers, data analysts, traffic modeling scientists, etc. These information flows provide enormous opportunities to improve model development and decision-making. The present work aims to describe how data, coming from diverse ITS sources, can be used to learn and adapt data-driven models for efficiently operating ITS assets, systems and processes; in other words, for data-based models to fully become actionable. Grounded on this described data modeling pipeline for ITS, we define the characteristics, engineering requisites and challenges intrinsic to its three compounding stages, namely, data fusion, adaptive learning and model evaluation. We deliberately generalize model learning to be adaptive, since, in the core of our paper is the firm conviction that most learners will have to adapt to the everchanging phenomenon scenario underlying the majority of ITS applications. Finally, we provide a prospect of current research lines within the Data Science realm that can bring notable advances to data-based ITS modeling, which will eventually bridge the gap towards the practicality and actionability of such models.

Implementations in Machine Ethics: A Survey Artificial Intelligence

Increasingly complex and autonomous systems require machine ethics to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to society arising from the new technology. It is challenging to decide which type of ethical theory to employ and how to implement it effectively. This survey provides a threefold contribution. Firstly, it introduces a taxonomy to analyze the field of machine ethics from an ethical, implementational, and technical perspective. Secondly, an exhaustive selection and description of relevant works is presented. Thirdly, applying the new taxonomy to the selected works, dominant research patterns and lessons for the field are identified, and future directions for research are suggested.

Challenges of Human-Aware AI Systems Artificial Intelligence

From its inception, AI has had a rather ambivalent relationship to humans---swinging between their augmentation and replacement. Now, as AI technologies enter our everyday lives at an ever increasing pace, there is a greater need for AI systems to work synergistically with humans. To do this effectively, AI systems must pay more attention to aspects of intelligence that helped humans work with each other---including social intelligence. I will discuss the research challenges in designing such human-aware AI systems, including modeling the mental states of humans in the loop, recognizing their desires and intentions, providing proactive support, exhibiting explicable behavior, giving cogent explanations on demand, and engendering trust. I will survey the progress made so far on these challenges, and highlight some promising directions. I will also touch on the additional ethical quandaries that such systems pose. I will end by arguing that the quest for human-aware AI systems broadens the scope of AI enterprise, necessitates and facilitates true inter-disciplinary collaborations, and can go a long way towards increasing public acceptance of AI technologies.

A Complete Artificial Intelligence Tutorial


In the previous article, we studied Tensorflow, its functions, and its python implementations. In this article, we will be studying Artificial Intelligence and more popularly knows as AI. One thing that I believe is that if we are able to correlate anything with us or our life, there are greater chances of understanding the concept. So I will try to explain everything by relating it to humans.

On the Utility of Learning about Humans for Human-AI Coordination Artificial Intelligence

While we would like agents that can coordinate with humans, current algorithms such as self-play and population-based training create agents that can coordinate with themselves. Agents that assume their partner to be optimal or similar to them can converge to coordination protocols that fail to understand and be understood by humans. To demonstrate this, we introduce a simple environment that requires challenging coordination, based on the popular game Overcooked, and learn a simple model that mimics human play. We evaluate the performance of agents trained via self-play and population-based training. These agents perform very well when paired with themselves, but when paired with our human model, they are significantly worse than agents designed to play with the human model. An experiment with a planning algorithm yields the same conclusion, though only when the human-aware planner is given the exact human model that it is playing with. A user study with real humans shows this pattern as well, though less strongly. Qualitatively, we find that the gains come from having the agent adapt to the human's gameplay. Given this result, we suggest several approaches for designing agents that learn about humans in order to better coordinate with them. Code is available at

The 2018 Survey: AI and the Future of Humans


"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.

A Review of Tracking, Prediction and Decision Making Methods for Autonomous Driving Machine Learning

The models are updated using a CNN, which ensures robustness to noise, scaling and minor variations of the targets' appearance. As with many other related approaches, an online implementation offloads most of the processing to an external server leaving the embedded device from the vehicle to carry out only minor and frequently-needed tasks. Since quick reactions of the system are crucial for proper and safe vehicle operation, performance and a rapid response of the underlying software is essential, which is why the online approach is popular in this field. Also in the context of ensuring robustness and stability, some authors apply fusion techniques to information extracted from CNN layers. It has been previously mentioned that important correlations can be drawn from deep and shallow layers which can be exploited together for identifying robust features in the data.

Developing Computational Models of Social Assistance to Guide Socially Assistive Robots Artificial Intelligence

While there are many examples in which robots provide social assistance, a lack of theory on how the robots should decide how to assist impedes progress in realizing these technologies. To address this deficiency, we propose a pair of computational models to guide a robot as it provides social assistance. The model of social autonomy helps a robot select an appropriate assistance that will help with the task at hand while also maintaining the autonomy of the person being assisted. The model of social alliance describes how a to determine whether the robot and the person being assisted are cooperatively working towards the same goal. Each of these models are rooted in social reasoning between people, and we describe here our ongoing work to adapt this social reasoning to human-robot interactions. Socially assistive robots (SARs) provide social assistance instead of physically intervening.