In recent years, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been widely changed many aspects of our lives. For example, retailers understand consumer behaviour by analysing customer data through AI, and video game companies create immersive games with AI to enhance gaming experience. Education too has great potential to utilise AI for enhancing the quality of education by streamlining learning and teaching procedures. What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the human intelligence.
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.
When people talk about artificial intelligence, they usually don't mean supervised and unsupervised machine learning. These tasks are pretty trivial compared to what we think of AIs doing - playing chess and Go, driving cars, and beating video games at a superhuman level. Reinforcement learning has recently become popular for doing all of that and more. Much like deep learning, a lot of the theory was discovered in the 70s and 80s but it hasn't been until recently that we've been able to observe first hand the amazing results that are possible. In 2016 we saw Google's AlphaGo beat the world Champion in Go.
Item response theory (IRT) models are widely used in psychometrics and educational measurement, being deployed in many high stakes tests such as the GRE aptitude test. IRT has largely focused on estimation of a single latent trait (e.g. ability) that remains static through the collection of item responses. However, in contemporary settings where item responses are being continuously collected, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), interest will naturally be on the dynamics of ability, thus complicating usage of traditional IRT models. We propose DynAEsti, an augmentation of the traditional IRT Expectation Maximization algorithm that allows ability to be a continuously varying curve over time. In the process, we develop CurvFiFE, a novel non-parametric continuous-time technique that handles the curve-fitting/regression problem extended to address more general probabilistic emissions (as opposed to simply noisy data points). Furthermore, to accomplish this, we develop a novel technique called grafting, which can successfully approximate distributions represented by graphical models when other popular techniques like Loopy Belief Propogation (LBP) and Variational Inference (VI) fail. The performance of DynAEsti is evaluated through simulation, where we achieve results comparable to the optimal of what is observed in the static ability scenario. Finally, DynAEsti is applied to a longitudinal performance dataset (80-years of competitive golf at the 18-hole Masters Tournament) to demonstrate its ability to recover key properties of human performance and the heterogeneous characteristics of the different holes. Python code for CurvFiFE and DynAEsti is publicly available at github.com/chausies/DynAEstiAndCurvFiFE. This is the full version of our ICDM 2019 paper.