Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.
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.
Width-based planning has demonstrated great success in recent years due to its ability to scale independently of the size of the state space. For example, Bandres et al. (2018) introduced a rollout version of the Iterated Width algorithm whose performance compares well with humans and learning methods in the pixel setting of the Atari games suite. In this setting, planning is done on-line using the "screen" states and selecting actions by looking ahead into the future. However, this algorithm is purely exploratory and does not leverage past reward information. Furthermore, it requires the state to be factored into features that need to be pre-defined for the particular task, e.g., the B-PROST pixel features. In this work, we extend width-based planning by incorporating an explicit policy in the action selection mechanism. Our method, called $\pi$-IW, interleaves width-based planning and policy learning using the state-actions visited by the planner. The policy estimate takes the form of a neural network and is in turn used to guide the planning step, thus reinforcing promising paths. Surprisingly, we observe that the representation learned by the neural network can be used as a feature space for the width-based planner without degrading its performance, thus removing the requirement of pre-defined features for the planner. We compare $\pi$-IW with previous width-based methods and with AlphaZero, a method that also interleaves planning and learning, in simple environments, and show that $\pi$-IW has superior performance. We also show that $\pi$-IW algorithm outperforms previous width-based methods in the pixel setting of Atari games suite.
The ability to infer the intentions of others, predict their goals, and deduce their plans are critical features for intelligent agents. For a long time, several approaches investigated the use of symbolic representations and inferences with limited success, principally because it is difficult to capture the cognitive knowledge behind human decisions explicitly. The trend, nowadays, is increasingly focusing on learning to infer intentions directly from data, using deep learning in particular. We are now observing interesting applications of intent classification in natural language processing, visual activity recognition, and emerging approaches in other domains. This paper discusses a novel approach combining few-shot and transfer learning with cross-domain features, to learn to infer the intent of an agent navigating in physical environments, executing arbitrary long sequences of actions to achieve their goals. Experiments in synthetic environments demonstrate improved performance in terms of learning from few samples and generalizing to unseen configurations, compared to a deep-learning baseline approach.
Coordinating agents to complete a set of tasks with intercoupled temporal and resource constraints is computationally challenging, yet human domain experts can solve these difficult scheduling problems using paradigms learned through years of apprenticeship. A process for manually codifying this domain knowledge within a computational framework is necessary to scale beyond the ``single-expert, single-trainee" apprenticeship model. However, human domain experts often have difficulty describing their decision-making processes, causing the codification of this knowledge to become laborious. We propose a new approach for capturing domain-expert heuristics through a pairwise ranking formulation. Our approach is model-free and does not require enumerating or iterating through a large state space. We empirically demonstrate that this approach accurately learns multifaceted heuristics on a synthetic data set incorporating job-shop scheduling and vehicle routing problems, as well as on two real-world data sets consisting of demonstrations of experts solving a weapon-to-target assignment problem and a hospital resource allocation problem. We also demonstrate that policies learned from human scheduling demonstration via apprenticeship learning can substantially improve the efficiency of a branch-and-bound search for an optimal schedule. We employ this human-machine collaborative optimization technique on a variant of the weapon-to-target assignment problem. We demonstrate that this technique generates solutions substantially superior to those produced by human domain experts at a rate up to 9.5 times faster than an optimization approach and can be applied to optimally solve problems twice as complex as those solved by a human demonstrator.