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Oh, Jean


Core Challenges in Embodied Vision-Language Planning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Recent advances in the areas of multimodal machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of challenging tasks at the intersection of Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Embodied AI. Whereas many approaches and previous survey pursuits have characterised one or two of these dimensions, there has not been a holistic analysis at the center of all three. Moreover, even when combinations of these topics are considered, more focus is placed on describing, e.g., current architectural methods, as opposed to also illustrating high-level challenges and opportunities for the field. In this survey paper, we discuss Embodied Vision-Language Planning (EVLP) tasks, a family of prominent embodied navigation and manipulation problems that jointly use computer vision and natural language. We propose a taxonomy to unify these tasks and provide an in-depth analysis and comparison of the new and current algorithmic approaches, metrics, simulated environments, as well as the datasets used for EVLP tasks. Finally, we present the core challenges that we believe new EVLP works should seek to address, and we advocate for task construction that enables model generalizability and furthers real-world deployment.


Safety-aware Policy Optimisation for Autonomous Racing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

To be viable for safety-critical applications, such as autonomous driving and assistive robotics, autonomous agents should adhere to safety constraints throughout the interactions with their environments. Instead of learning about safety by collecting samples, including unsafe ones, methods such as Hamilton-Jacobi (HJ) reachability compute safe sets with theoretical guarantees using models of the system dynamics. However, HJ reachability is not scalable to high-dimensional systems, and the guarantees hinge on the quality of the model. In this work, we inject HJ reachability theory into the constrained Markov decision process (CMDP) framework, as a control-theoretical approach for safety analysis via model-free updates on state-action pairs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the HJ safety value can be learned directly on vision context, the highest-dimensional problem studied via the method to-date. We evaluate our method on several benchmark tasks, including Safety Gym and Learn-to-Race (L2R), a recently-released high-fidelity autonomous racing environment. Our approach has significantly fewer constraint violations in comparison to other constrained RL baselines, and achieve the new state-of-the-art results on the L2R benchmark task.


Core Challenges in Embodied Vision-Language Planning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances in the areas of multimodal machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of challenging tasks at the intersection of Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Embodied AI. Whereas many approaches and previous survey pursuits have characterised one or two of these dimensions, there has not been a holistic analysis at the center of all three. Moreover, even when combinations of these topics are considered, more focus is placed on describing, e.g., current architectural methods, as opposed to also illustrating high-level challenges and opportunities for the field. In this survey paper, we discuss Embodied Vision-Language Planning (EVLP) tasks, a family of prominent embodied navigation and manipulation problems that jointly use computer vision and natural language. We propose a taxonomy to unify these tasks and provide an in-depth analysis and comparison of the new and current algorithmic approaches, metrics, simulated environments, as well as the datasets used for EVLP tasks. Finally, we present the core challenges that we believe new EVLP works should seek to address, and we advocate for task construction that enables model generalizability and furthers real-world deployment.


Content Masked Loss: Human-Like Brush Stroke Planning in a Reinforcement Learning Painting Agent

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The objective of most Reinforcement Learning painting agents is to minimize the loss between a target image and the paint canvas. Human painter artistry emphasizes important features of the target image rather than simply reproducing it (DiPaola 2007). Using adversarial or L2 losses in the RL painting models, although its final output is generally a work of finesse, produces a stroke sequence that is vastly different from that which a human would produce since the model does not have knowledge about the abstract features in the target image. In order to increase the human-like planning of the model without the use of expensive human data, we introduce a new loss function for use with the model's reward function: Content Masked Loss. In the context of robot painting, Content Masked Loss employs an object detection model to extract features which are used to assign higher weight to regions of the canvas that a human would find important for recognizing content. The results, based on 332 human evaluators, show that the digital paintings produced by our Content Masked model show detectable subject matter earlier in the stroke sequence than existing methods without compromising on the quality of the final painting.


Following Social Groups: Socially Compliant Autonomous Navigation in Dense Crowds

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In densely populated environments, socially compliant navigation is critical for autonomous robots as driving close to people is unavoidable. This manner of social navigation is challenging given the constraints of human comfort and social rules. Traditional methods based on hand-craft cost functions to achieve this task have difficulties to operate in the complex real world. Other learning-based approaches fail to address the naturalness aspect from the perspective of collective formation behaviors. We present an autonomous navigation system capable of operating in dense crowds and utilizing information of social groups. The underlying system incorporates a deep neural network to track social groups and join the flow of a social group in facilitating the navigation. A collision avoidance layer in the system further ensures navigation safety. In experiments, our method generates socially compliant behaviors as state-of-the-art methods. More importantly, the system is capable of navigating safely in a densely populated area (10+ people in a 10m x 20m area) following crowd flows to reach the goal.


Explainable Semantic Mapping for First Responders

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

One of the key challenges in the semantic mapping problem in postdisaster environments is how to analyze a large amount of data efficiently with minimal supervision. To address this challenge, we propose a deep learning-based semantic mapping tool consisting of three main ideas. First, we develop a frugal semantic segmentation algorithm that uses only a small amount of labeled data. Next, we investigate on the problem of learning to detect a new class of object using just a few training examples. Finally, we develop an explainable cost map learning algorithm that can be quickly trained to generate traversability cost maps using only raw sensor data such as aerial-view imagery. This paper presents an overview of the proposed idea and the lessons learned.


Vision-Language Fusion for Object Recognition

AAAI Conferences

While recent advances in computer vision have caused object recognition rates to spike, there is still much room for improvement. In this paper, we develop an algorithm to improve object recognition by integrating human-generated contextual information with vision algorithms. Specifically, we examine how interactive systems such as robots can utilize two types of context information--verbal descriptions of an environment and human-labeled datasets. We propose a re-ranking schema, MultiRank, for object recognition that can efficiently combine such information with the computer vision results. In our experiments, we achieve up to 9.4% and 16.6% accuracy improvements using the oracle and the detected bounding boxes, respectively, over the vision-only recognizers. We conclude that our algorithm has the ability to make a significant impact on object recognition in robotics and beyond.


An Agent Architecture for Prognostic Reasoning Assistance

AAAI Conferences

In this paper we describe a software assistant agent that can proactively assist human users situated in a time-constrained environment to perform normative reasoning--reasoning about prohibitions and obligations--so that the user can focus on her planning objectives. In order to provide proactive assistance, the agent must be able to 1) recognize the user's planned activities, 2) reason about potential needs of assistance associated with those predicted activities, and 3) plan to provide appropriate assistance suitable for newly identified user needs. To address these specific requirements, we develop an agent architecture that integrates user intention recognition, normative reasoning over a user's intention, and planning, execution and replanning for assistive actions. This paper presents the agent architecture and discusses practical applications of this approach.


Reports of the AAAI 2010 Fall Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence was pleased to present the 2010 Fall Symposium Series, held Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the eight symposia are as follows: (1) Cognitive and Metacognitive Educational Systems; (2) Commonsense Knowledge; (3) Complex Adaptive Systems: Resilience, Robustness, and Evolvability; (4) Computational Models of Narrative; (5) Dialog with Robots; (6) Manifold Learning and Its Applications; (7) Proactive Assistant Agents ; and (8) Quantum Informatics for Cognitive, Social, and Semantic Processes. The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.


Reports of the AAAI 2010 Fall Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence was pleased to present the 2010 Fall Symposium Series, held Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13, at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The titles of the eight symposia are as follows: (1) Cognitive and Metacognitive Educational Systems; (2) Commonsense Knowledge; (3) Complex Adaptive Systems: Resilience, Robustness, and Evolvability; (4) Computational Models of Narrative; (5) Dialog with Robots; (6) Manifold Learning and Its Applications; (7) Proactive Assistant Agents; and (8) Quantum Informatics for Cognitive, Social, and Semantic Processes. The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.