One-Shot Imitation Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Imitation learning has been commonly applied to solve different tasks in isolation. This usually requires either careful feature engineering, or a significant number of samples. This is far from what we desire: ideally, robots should be able to learn from very few demonstrations of any given task, and instantly generalize to new situations of the same task, without requiring task-specific engineering. In this paper, we propose a meta-learning framework for achieving such capability, which we call one-shot imitation learning. Specifically, we consider the setting where there is a very large set of tasks, and each task has many instantiations. For example, a task could be to stack all blocks on a table into a single tower, another task could be to place all blocks on a table into two-block towers, etc. In each case, different instances of the task would consist of different sets of blocks with different initial states. At training time, our algorithm is presented with pairs of demonstrations for a subset of all tasks. A neural net is trained that takes as input one demonstration and the current state (which initially is the initial state of the other demonstration of the pair), and outputs an action with the goal that the resulting sequence of states and actions matches as closely as possible with the second demonstration. At test time, a demonstration of a single instance of a new task is presented, and the neural net is expected to perform well on new instances of this new task. The use of soft attention allows the model to generalize to conditions and tasks unseen in the training data. We anticipate that by training this model on a much greater variety of tasks and settings, we will obtain a general system that can turn any demonstrations into robust policies that can accomplish an overwhelming variety of tasks. Videos available at https://bit.ly/nips2017-oneshot .


Deep Q-learning from Demonstrations

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved several high profile successes in difficult decision-making problems. However, these algorithms typically require a huge amount of data before they reach reasonable performance. In fact, their performance during learning can be extremely poor. This may be acceptable for a simulator, but it severely limits the applicability of deep RL to many real-world tasks, where the agent must learn in the real environment. In this paper we study a setting where the agent may access data from previous control of the system. We present an algorithm, Deep Q-learning from Demonstrations (DQfD), that leverages small sets of demonstration data to massively accelerate the learning process even from relatively small amounts of demonstration data and is able to automatically assess the necessary ratio of demonstration data while learning thanks to a prioritized replay mechanism. DQfD works by combining temporal difference updates with supervised classification of the demonstrator's actions. We show that DQfD has better initial performance than Prioritized Dueling Double Deep Q-Networks (PDD DQN) as it starts with better scores on the first million steps on 41 of 42 games and on average it takes PDD DQN 83 million steps to catch up to DQfD's performance. DQfD learns to out-perform the best demonstration given in 14 of 42 games. In addition, DQfD leverages human demonstrations to achieve state-of-the-art results for 11 games. Finally, we show that DQfD performs better than three related algorithms for incorporating demonstration data into DQN.


Hinge-Loss Markov Random Fields and Probabilistic Soft Logic

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

A fundamental challenge in developing high-impact machine learning technologies is balancing the need to model rich, structured domains with the ability to scale to big data. Many important problem areas are both richly structured and large scale, from social and biological networks, to knowledge graphs and the Web, to images, video, and natural language. In this paper, we introduce two new formalisms for modeling structured data, and show that they can both capture rich structure and scale to big data. The first, hinge-loss Markov random fields (HL-MRFs), is a new kind of probabilistic graphical model that generalizes different approaches to convex inference. We unite three approaches from the randomized algorithms, probabilistic graphical models, and fuzzy logic communities, showing that all three lead to the same inference objective. We then define HL-MRFs by generalizing this unified objective. The second new formalism, probabilistic soft logic (PSL), is a probabilistic programming language that makes HL-MRFs easy to define using a syntax based on first-order logic. We introduce an algorithm for inferring most-probable variable assignments (MAP inference) that is much more scalable than general-purpose convex optimization methods, because it uses message passing to take advantage of sparse dependency structures. We then show how to learn the parameters of HL-MRFs. The learned HL-MRFs are as accurate as analogous discrete models, but much more scalable. Together, these algorithms enable HL-MRFs and PSL to model rich, structured data at scales not previously possible.


Talking To Our Computers Is Changing Who We Are

Huffington Post - Tech news and opinion

On Wednesday, Google introduced its new personal assistant, Google Home, which will listen to your voice and provide information on demand, much like the popular Amazon Echo. Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana have been chatting with people for years -- and one expert predicts that voice-driven technology will have startling effects on our social interactions moving forward. "There used to be a disconnect between how we interacted with, say, our desktop computers and our family," Illah Nourbakhsh, a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, told The Huffington Post. "We interacted with that computer only when we wanted to. Now technology is pervading the home environment.


News: ONR Researchers Create 'Human User Manual' for Robots - Office of Naval Research

#artificialintelligence

ARLINGTON, Va.--With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created an artificial intelligence software program named Quixote to teach robots to read stories, learn acceptable behavior and understand successful ways to conduct themselves in diverse social situations. "For years, researchers have debated how to teach robots to act in ways that are appropriate, non-intrusive and trustworthy," said Marc Steinberg, an ONR program manager who oversees the research. "One important question is how to explain complex concepts such as policies, values or ethics to robots. Humans are really good at using narrative stories to make sense of the world and communicate to other people. This could one day be an effective way to interact with robots."