Its impact is drastic and real: Youtube's AIdriven recommendation system would present sports videos for days if one happens to watch a live baseball game on the platform ; email writing becomes much faster with machine learning (ML) based auto-completion ; many businesses have adopted natural language processing based chatbots as part of their customer services . AI has also greatly advanced human capabilities in complex decision-making processes ranging from determining how to allocate security resources to protect airports  to games such as poker  and Go . All such tangible and stunning progress suggests that an "AI summer" is happening. As some put it, "AI is the new electricity" . Meanwhile, in the past decade, an emerging theme in the AI research community is the so-called "AI for social good" (AI4SG): researchers aim at developing AI methods and tools to address problems at the societal level and improve the wellbeing of the society.
This thesis presents new methods for unsupervised learning of distributed representations of words and entities from text and knowledge bases. The first algorithm presented in the thesis is a multi-view algorithm for learning representations of words called Multiview Latent Semantic Analysis (MVLSA). By incorporating up to 46 different types of co-occurrence statistics for the same vocabulary of english words, I show that MVLSA outperforms other state-of-the-art word embedding models. Next, I focus on learning entity representations for search and recommendation and present the second method of this thesis, Neural Variational Set Expansion (NVSE). NVSE is also an unsupervised learning method, but it is based on the Variational Autoencoder framework. Evaluations with human annotators show that NVSE can facilitate better search and recommendation of information gathered from noisy, automatic annotation of unstructured natural language corpora. Finally, I move from unstructured data and focus on structured knowledge graphs. I present novel approaches for learning embeddings of vertices and edges in a knowledge graph that obey logical constraints.
Within the realm of service robotics, researchers have placed a great amount of effort into learning motions and manipulations for task execution by robots. The task of robot learning is very broad, as it involves many tasks such as object detection, action recognition, motion planning, localization, knowledge representation and retrieval, and the intertwining of computer vision and machine learning techniques. In this paper, we focus on how knowledge can be gathered, represented, and reproduced to solve problems as done by researchers in the past decades. We discuss the problems which have existed in robot learning and the solutions, technologies or developments (if any) which have contributed to solving them. Specifically, we look at three broad categories involved in task representation and retrieval for robotics: 1) activity recognition from demonstrations, 2) scene understanding and interpretation, and 3) task representation in robotics - datasets and networks. Within each section, we discuss major breakthroughs and how their methods address present issues in robot learning and manipulation.
This is an integrative review that address the question, "What makes for a good explanation?" with reference to AI systems. Pertinent literatures are vast. Thus, this review is necessarily selective. That said, most of the key concepts and issues are expressed in this Report. The Report encapsulates the history of computer science efforts to create systems that explain and instruct (intelligent tutoring systems and expert systems). The Report expresses the explainability issues and challenges in modern AI, and presents capsule views of the leading psychological theories of explanation. Certain articles stand out by virtue of their particular relevance to XAI, and their methods, results, and key points are highlighted. It is recommended that AI/XAI researchers be encouraged to include in their research reports fuller details on their empirical or experimental methods, in the fashion of experimental psychology research reports: details on Participants, Instructions, Procedures, Tasks, Dependent Variables (operational definitions of the measures and metrics), Independent Variables (conditions), and Control Conditions.