Collaborating Authors


Future of AI Part 5: The Cutting Edge of AI


Edmond de Belamy is a Generative Adversarial Network portrait painting constructed in 2018 by Paris-based arts-collective Obvious and sold for $432,500 in Southebys in October 2018.

An Introduction to Reinforcement Learning - Lex Fridman, MIT


We were delighted to be joined by Lex Fridman at the San Francisco edition of the Deep Learning Summit, taking part in both a'Deep Dive' session, allowing for a great amount of attendee interaction and collaboration, alongside a fireside chat with OpenAI Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Ilya Sutskever. The MIT Researcher shared his thoughts on recent developments in AI and its current standing, highlighting its growth in recent years. Lex then referenced, Lee Sedol, the South Korean 9th Dan GO player, whom at this time is the only human to ever beat AI at a video game, which has since become somewhat of an impossible task, describing this feat as a seminal moment and one which changed the course of not only deep learning but also reinforcement learning, increasing the social belief in the subsection of AI. Since then, of course, we have seen video games and tactically based games, including Starcraft become imperative in the development of AI. The comparison of Reinforcement Learning to Human Learning is something which we often come across, referenced by Lex as something which needed addressing, with humans seemingly learning through "very few examples" as opposed to the heavy data sets needed in AI, but why is that?

Flexible and Efficient Long-Range Planning Through Curious Exploration Artificial Intelligence

Identifying algorithms that flexibly and efficiently discover temporally-extended multi-phase plans is an essential step for the advancement of robotics and model-based reinforcement learning. The core problem of long-range planning is finding an efficient way to search through the tree of possible action sequences. Existing non-learned planning solutions from the Task and Motion Planning (TAMP) literature rely on the existence of logical descriptions for the effects and preconditions for actions. This constraint allows TAMP methods to efficiently reduce the tree search problem but limits their ability to generalize to unseen and complex physical environments. In contrast, deep reinforcement learning (DRL) methods use flexible neural-network-based function approximators to discover policies that generalize naturally to unseen circumstances. However, DRL methods struggle to handle the very sparse reward landscapes inherent to long-range multi-step planning situations. Here, we propose the Curious Sample Planner (CSP), which fuses elements of TAMP and DRL by combining a curiosity-guided sampling strategy with imitation learning to accelerate planning. We show that CSP can efficiently discover interesting and complex temporally-extended plans for solving a wide range of physically realistic 3D tasks. In contrast, standard planning and learning methods often fail to solve these tasks at all or do so only with a huge and highly variable number of training samples. We explore the use of a variety of curiosity metrics with CSP and analyze the types of solutions that CSP discovers. Finally, we show that CSP supports task transfer so that the exploration policies learned during experience with one task can help improve efficiency on related tasks.

Order Matters: Generating Progressive Explanations for Planning Tasks in Human-Robot Teaming Artificial Intelligence

Prior work on generating explanations has been focused on providing the rationale behind the robot's decision making. While these approaches provide the right explanations from the explainer's perspective, they fail to heed the cognitive requirement of understanding an explanation from the explainee's perspective. In this work, we set out to address this issue from a planning context by considering the order of information provided in an explanation, which is referred to as the progressiveness of explanations. Progressive explanations contribute to a better understanding by minimizing the cumulative cognitive effort required for understanding all the information in an explanation. As a result, such explanations are easier to understand. Given the sequential nature of communicating information, a general formulation based on goal-based Markov Decision Processes for generating progressive explanation is presented. The reward function of this MDP is learned via inverse reinforcement learning based on explanations that are provided by human subjects. Our method is evaluated in an escape-room domain. The results show that our progressive explanation generation method reduces the cognitive load over two baselines.

Adversarial Evaluation of Autonomous Vehicles in Lane-Change Scenarios Machine Learning

Autonomous vehicles must be comprehensively evaluated before deployed in cities and highways. Current evaluation procedures lack the abilities of weakness-aiming and evolving, thus they could hardly generate adversarial environments for autonomous vehicles, leading to insufficient challenges. To overcome the shortage of static evaluation methods, this paper proposes a novel method to generate adversarial environments with deep reinforcement learning, and to cluster them with a nonparametric Bayesian method. As a representative task of autonomous driving, lane-change is used to demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method. First, two lane-change models are separately developed by a rule-based method and a learning-based method, waiting for evaluation and comparison. Next, adversarial environments are generated by training surrounding interactive vehicles with deep reinforcement learning for local optimal ensembles. Then, a nonparametric Bayesian approach is utilized to cluster the adversarial policies of the interactive vehicles. Finally, the adversarial environment patterns are illustrated and the performances of two lane-change models are evaluated and compared. The simulation results indicate that both models perform significantly worse in adversarial environments than in naturalistic environments, with plenty of weaknesses successfully extracted in a few tests.

Improving Movement Predictions of Traffic Actors in Bird's-Eye View Models using GANs and Differentiable Trajectory Rasterization Machine Learning

One of the most critical pieces of the self-driving puzzle is the task of predicting future movement of surrounding traffic actors, which allows the autonomous vehicle to safely and effectively plan its future route in a complex world. Recently, a number of algorithms have been proposed to address this important problem, spurred by a growing interest of researchers from both industry and academia. Methods based on top-down scene rasterization on one side and Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) on the other have shown to be particularly successful, obtaining state-of-the-art accuracies on the task of traffic movement prediction. In this paper we build upon these two directions and propose a raster-based conditional GAN architecture, powered by a novel differentiable rasterizer module at the input of the conditional discriminator that maps generated trajectories into the raster space in a differentiable manner. This simplifies the task for the discriminator as trajectories that are not scene-compliant are easier to discern, and allows the gradients to flow back forcing the generator to output better, more realistic trajectories. We evaluated the proposed method on a large-scale, real-world data set, showing that it outperforms state-of-the-art GAN-based baselines.

Trajectory annotation using sequences of spatial perception Machine Learning

In the near future, more and more machines will perform tasks in the vicinity of human spaces or support them directly in their spatially bound activities. In order to simplify the verbal communication and the interaction between robotic units and/or humans, reliable and robust systems w.r.t. noise and processing results are needed. This work builds a foundation to address this task. By using a continuous representation of spatial perception in interiors learned from trajectory data, our approach clusters movement in dependency to its spatial context. We propose an unsupervised learning approach based on a neural autoencoding that learns semantically meaningful continuous encodings of spatio-temporal trajectory data. This learned encoding can be used to form prototypical representations. We present promising results that clear the path for future applications.

Scenario-Transferable Semantic Graph Reasoning for Interaction-Aware Probabilistic Prediction Artificial Intelligence

Accurately predicting the possible behaviors of traffic participants is an essential capability for autonomous vehicles. Since autonomous vehicles need to navigate in dynamically changing environments, they are expected to make accurate predictions regardless of where they are and what driving circumstances they encountered. A number of methodologies have been proposed to solve prediction problems under different traffic situations. However, these works either focus on one particular driving scenario (e.g. highway, intersection, or roundabout) or do not take sufficient environment information (e.g. road topology, traffic rules, and surrounding agents) into account. In fact, the limitation to certain scenario is mainly due to the lackness of generic representations of the environment. The insufficiency of environment information further limits the flexibility and transferability of the predictor. In this paper, we propose a scenario-transferable and interaction-aware probabilistic prediction algorithm based on semantic graph reasoning, which predicts behaviors of selected agents. We put forward generic representations for various environment information and utilize them as building blocks to construct their spatio-temporal structural relations. We then take the advantage of these structured representations to develop a flexible and transferable prediction algorithm, where the predictor can be directly used under unforeseen driving circumstances that are completely different from training scenarios. The proposed algorithm is thoroughly examined under several complicated real-world driving scenarios to demonstrate its flexibility and transferability with the generic representation for autonomous driving systems.

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.