Researchers use reinforcement learning to train gliders to soar like birds


The words "fly like an eagle" are famously part of a song, but they may also be words that make some scientists scratch their heads. Especially when it comes to soaring birds like eagles, falcons and hawks, who seem to ascend to great heights over hills, canyons and mountain tops with ease. Scientists realize that upward currents of warm air assist the birds in their flight, but they don't know how the birds find and navigate these thermal plumes. To figure it out, researchers from the University of California San Diego used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals, soaring to heights of 700 meters--nearly 2,300 feet. The novel research results, published in the Sept. 19 issue of Nature, highlight the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds.

Artificial intelligence in smart cities-What's Applications and Trends?


Improving cities is a pressing global need as the world's population grows and our species becomes rapidly more urbanized. In 1900 just 14 percent of people on earth lived in cities but by 2008 half the world's population lived in urban areas, and the rate continues to grow. There were just 83 cities on earth with more than one million residents in 1950, while as of last year there were 512 such cities. In the United States, 3.5 percent of the land now holds 62.7 percent of Americans. This article will look at how governments and companies are using AI right now in cities. We'll conclude with some of the future implications of these (above) smart city technologies and trends.

The Economics and Benefits of Artificial Intelligence


We see news about AI everywhere; sometimes, we see the excitement around AI and sometimes we see articles that talk about how AI will replace or destroy our jobs. We also see the occasional article talking about how AI will destroy humanity. In this article, I will not discuss an artificial general intelligence or an evil AI that wants to destroy humanity. I will focus on current AI, which is mostly based on the algorithms that can do predictions, and discuss how the economics of AI works and how it may affect business. I also want to mention that the content of this article is highly affected by (and this author highly recommends for further reading) Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence and Human Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI.

Blockchain, machine learning: What your CV must have for you to shine in tech world


Rapid developments in technology require professionals to upgrade their skills for technology-centered jobs of tomorrow. Srikanth Vidapanakal, who has been into data for more than 18 years, was inquisitive to learn about new technologies. He did a Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree that helped him acquire advanced skills and landed him with a job in automation sector. Srikanth is an example of lifelong learning where staying relevant in the age of rapidly changing technologies is the need of the hour. In 2017, research suggested that AI and robotics could collectively take over 800 million jobs worldwide by 2030.

CM3: Cooperative Multi-goal Multi-stage Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning Machine Learning

We propose CM3, a new deep reinforcement learning method for cooperative multi-agent problems where agents must coordinate for joint success in achieving different individual goals. We restructure multi-agent learning into a two-stage curriculum, consisting of a single-agent stage for learning to accomplish individual tasks, followed by a multi-agent stage for learning to cooperate in the presence of other agents. These two stages are bridged by modular augmentation of neural network policy and value functions. We further adapt the actor-critic framework to this curriculum by formulating local and global views of the policy gradient and learning via a double critic, consisting of a decentralized value function and a centralized action-value function. We evaluated CM3 on a new high-dimensional multi-agent environment with sparse rewards: negotiating lane changes among multiple autonomous vehicles in the Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO) traffic simulator. Detailed ablation experiments show the positive contribution of each component in CM3, and the overall synthesis converges significantly faster to higher performance policies than existing cooperative multi-agent methods.

Why AI is 'artificial' intelligence without machine learning


And if you talk to experts in the science of machine learning, you might even learn that they don't really recognize artificial intelligence as a technology but more as a marketing buzzword used to sell machine learning. So, for the sake of simplicity, understand that machine learning is one of the most effective and mature approaches to realizing algorithms that make programs and machines seem "intelligent." Well, we're going to go a lot deeper than that to help you understand how machine learning is the key force shaping the world of artificial intelligence. Machine learning is mostly based on using lots and lots of training data and good algorithms. Though there's a lot of excitement in technology circles about sophisticated algorithms, particularly deep learning, it must be understood that most applications of machine learning are a result of good data.

How IoT with embedded AI is driving new revenue streams in the industrial world


When I ask people what they think the Internet of Things (IoT) is all about, the majority say, "smart homes", probably based on personal experience with Alexa or Siri. If I say that it's also about industries making using of sensor data, most think of manufacturing. Sensors have been used for a long time in manufacturing, and the concept of using data generated at the edge to monitor and run automated processes is well understood. But this is underestimating the potential of IoT. In practice, IoT can be applied anywhere.

Adaptive Behavior Generation for Autonomous Driving using Deep Reinforcement Learning with Compact Semantic States Machine Learning

Making the right decision in traffic is a challenging task that is highly dependent on individual preferences as well as the surrounding environment. Therefore it is hard to model solely based on expert knowledge. In this work we use Deep Reinforcement Learning to learn maneuver decisions based on a compact semantic state representation. This ensures a consistent model of the environment across scenarios as well as a behavior adaptation function, enabling on-line changes of desired behaviors without re-training. The input for the neural network is a simulated object list similar to that of Radar or Lidar sensors, superimposed by a relational semantic scene description. The state as well as the reward are extended by a behavior adaptation function and a parameterization respectively. With little expert knowledge and a set of mid-level actions, it can be seen that the agent is capable to adhere to traffic rules and learns to drive safely in a variety of situations.

Probabilistic Prediction of Interactive Driving Behavior via Hierarchical Inverse Reinforcement Learning Machine Learning

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are on the road. To safely and efficiently interact with other road participants, AVs have to accurately predict the behavior of surrounding vehicles and plan accordingly. Such prediction should be probabilistic, to address the uncertainties in human behavior. Such prediction should also be interactive, since the distribution over all possible trajectories of the predicted vehicle depends not only on historical information, but also on future plans of other vehicles that interact with it. To achieve such interaction-aware predictions, we propose a probabilistic prediction approach based on hierarchical inverse reinforcement learning (IRL). First, we explicitly consider the hierarchical trajectory-generation process of human drivers involving both discrete and continuous driving decisions. Based on this, the distribution over all future trajectories of the predicted vehicle is formulated as a mixture of distributions partitioned by the discrete decisions. Then we apply IRL hierarchically to learn the distributions from real human demonstrations. A case study for the ramp-merging driving scenario is provided. The quantitative results show that the proposed approach can accurately predict both the discrete driving decisions such as yield or pass as well as the continuous trajectories.

Generic Probabilistic Interactive Situation Recognition and Prediction: From Virtual to Real Machine Learning

Accurate and robust recognition and prediction of traffic situation plays an important role in autonomous driving, which is a prerequisite for risk assessment and effective decision making. Although there exist a lot of works dealing with modeling driver behavior of a single object, it remains a challenge to make predictions for multiple highly interactive agents that react to each other simultaneously. In this work, we propose a generic probabilistic hierarchical recognition and prediction framework which employs a two-layer Hidden Markov Model (TLHMM) to obtain the distribution of potential situations and a learning-based dynamic scene evolution model to sample a group of future trajectories. Instead of predicting motions of a single entity, we propose to get the joint distribution by modeling multiple interactive agents as a whole system. Moreover, due to the decoupling property of the layered structure, our model is suitable for knowledge transfer from simulation to real world applications as well as among different traffic scenarios, which can reduce the computational efforts of training and the demand for a large data amount. A case study of highway ramp merging scenario is demonstrated to verify the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed framework.