If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
In black-box optimization, an agent repeatedly chooses a configuration to test, so as to find an optimal configuration. In many practical problems of interest, one would like to optimize several systems, or tasks'', simultaneously; however, in most of these scenarios the current task is determined by nature. In this work, we explore the offline'' case in which one is able to bypass nature and choose the next task to evaluate (e.g. via a simulator). Because some tasks may be easier to optimize and others may be more critical, it is crucial to leverage algorithms that not only consider which configurations to try next, but also which tasks to make evaluations for. In this work, we describe a theoretically grounded Bayesian optimization method to tackle this problem.
Nuclear fusion is regarded as the energy of the future since it presents the possibility of unlimited clean energy. One obstacle in utilizing fusion as a feasible energy source is the stability of the reaction. Ideally, one would have a controller for the reactor that makes actions in response to the current state of the plasma in order to prolong the reaction as long as possible. In this work, we make preliminary steps to learning such a controller. Since learning on a real world reactor is infeasible, we tackle this problem by attempting to learn optimal controls offline via a simulator, where the state of the plasma can be explicitly set. In particular, we introduce a theoretically grounded Bayesian optimization algorithm that recommends a state and action pair to evaluate at every iteration and show that this results in more efficient use of the simulator.