Collaborating Authors


Citizen crime app releases Protect, an on-demand subscription security feature

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

After months of testing, Citizen, the crime and neighborhood watch app, is releasing Protect, a subscription-based feature that lets users contact virtual agents for help if they feel they're in danger. According to Citizen, the feature can connect users with a Protect agent either through video, audio, or text available around the clock. The company said audio and text-only communication allows users to discreetly call for help "in difficult situations" where they might not be able to or are scared to be seen calling 911. Protect began beta testing earlier this year as the feature has been available to 100,000 users, Citizen said. The new feature comes as Citizen currently has more than 8 million users who have sent out more than billion alerts in major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Create a large-scale video driving dataset with detailed attributes using Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth


Do you ever wonder what goes behind bringing various levels of autonomy to vehicles? What the vehicle sees (perception) and how the vehicle predicts the actions of different agents in the scene (behavior prediction) are the first two steps in autonomous systems. In order for these steps to be successful, large-scale driving datasets are key. Driving datasets typically comprise of data captured using multiple sensors such as cameras, LIDARs, radars, and GPS, in a variety of traffic scenarios during different times of the day under varied weather conditions and locations. The Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab is collaborating with the Laboratory of Intelligent and Safe Automobiles (LISA Lab) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to build a large, richly annotated, real-world driving dataset with fine-grained vehicle, pedestrian, and scene attributes. This post describes the dataset label taxonomy and labeling architecture for 2D bounding boxes using Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth. Ground Truth is a fully managed data labeling service that makes it easy to build highly accurate training datasets for machine learning (ML) workflows.

On the Importance of Environments in Human-Robot Coordination Artificial Intelligence

When studying robots collaborating with humans, much of the focus has been on robot policies that coordinate fluently with human teammates in collaborative tasks. However, less emphasis has been placed on the effect of the environment on coordination behaviors. To thoroughly explore environments that result in diverse behaviors, we propose a framework for procedural generation of environments that are (1) stylistically similar to human-authored environments, (2) guaranteed to be solvable by the human-robot team, and (3) diverse with respect to coordination measures. We analyze the procedurally generated environments in the Overcooked benchmark domain via simulation and an online user study. Results show that the environments result in qualitatively different emerging behaviors and statistically significant differences in collaborative fluency metrics, even when the robot runs the same planning algorithm.

Seeing Differently, Acting Similarly: Imitation Learning with Heterogeneous Observations Artificial Intelligence

In many real-world imitation learning tasks, the demonstrator and the learner have to act in different but full observation spaces. This situation generates significant obstacles for existing imitation learning approaches to work, even when they are combined with traditional space adaptation techniques. The main challenge lies in bridging expert's occupancy measures to learner's dynamically changing occupancy measures under the different observation spaces. In this work, we model the above learning problem as Heterogeneous Observations Imitation Learning (HOIL). We propose the Importance Weighting with REjection (IWRE) algorithm based on the techniques of importance-weighting, learning with rejection, and active querying to solve the key challenge of occupancy measure matching. Experimental results show that IWRE can successfully solve HOIL tasks, including the challenging task of transforming the vision-based demonstrations to random access memory (RAM)-based policies under the Atari domain.

Cooperative Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning Based Distributed Dynamic Spectrum Access in Cognitive Radio Networks Artificial Intelligence

This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Abstract With the development of the 5G and Internet of Things, amounts of wireless devices need to share the limited spectrum resources. Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is a promising paradigm to remedy the problem of inef!cient spectrum utilization brought upon by the historical command-and-control approach to spectrum allocation. In this paper, we investigate the distributed DSA problem for multiuser in a typical multi-channel cognitive radio network. The problem is formulated as a decentralized partially observable Markov decision process (Dec-POMDP), and we proposed a centralized off-line training and distributed on-line execution framework based on cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). We employ the deep recurrent Q-network (DRQN) to address the partial observability of the state for each cognitive user. The ultimate goal is to learn a cooperative strategy which maximizes the sum throughput of cognitive radio network in distributed fashion without coordination information exchange between cognitive users. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 6193000305. X. Tan, L. Zhou, Y. Sun, H. Wang, H. Zhao and J. Wei are all with College of Electronic Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, 410073, China (E-mail: {tanxiang, zhouli2035, haijunwang14, sunyuli19, haitaozhao, wjbhw} Boon-Chong Seet is with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1142, New Zealand (E-mail: Victor C. M. Leung is with Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada (E-mail: 2 From the simulation results, we can observe that the proposed algorithm can converge fast and achieve almost the optimal performance. The future network is involving into the Internet of Everything.

Hi-Phy: A Benchmark for Hierarchical Physical Reasoning Artificial Intelligence

Reasoning about the behaviour of physical objects is a key capability of agents operating in physical worlds. Humans are very experienced in physical reasoning while it remains a major challenge for AI. To facilitate research addressing this problem, several benchmarks have been proposed recently. However, these benchmarks do not enable us to measure an agent's granular physical reasoning capabilities when solving a complex reasoning task. In this paper, we propose a new benchmark for physical reasoning that allows us to test individual physical reasoning capabilities. Inspired by how humans acquire these capabilities, we propose a general hierarchy of physical reasoning capabilities with increasing complexity. Our benchmark tests capabilities according to this hierarchy through generated physical reasoning tasks in the video game Angry Birds. This benchmark enables us to conduct a comprehensive agent evaluation by measuring the agent's granular physical reasoning capabilities. We conduct an evaluation with human players, learning agents, and heuristic agents and determine their capabilities. Our evaluation shows that learning agents, with good local generalization ability, still struggle to learn the underlying physical reasoning capabilities and perform worse than current state-of-the-art heuristic agents and humans. We believe that this benchmark will encourage researchers to develop intelligent agents with advanced, human-like physical reasoning capabilities. URL:

Targeted Data Acquisition for Evolving Negotiation Agents Artificial Intelligence

Consider a standard non-cooperative negotiation game (Deming et al., 1944; Successful negotiators must learn how to balance Nash, 1950; 1951) as shown in Figure 1 where two agents - optimizing for self-interest and cooperation. Yet Alice and Bob - are trying to agree on an allocation of shared current artificial negotiation agents often heavily resources. Both have high utility associated with the hats depend on the quality of the static datasets they and balls, though Alice also cares about books. Effectively were trained on, limiting their capacity to fashion employing negotiation is crucial, and is the only way to an adaptive response balancing self-interest and reach an equitable outcome - dividing the hats and balls cooperation. For this reason, we find that these evenly, while giving Alice the book. Even where negotiating agents can achieve either high utility or cooperation, agents have incentives that make it challenging for them to but not both. To address this, we introduce cooperate, it would be difficult to imagine that negotiation a targeted data acquisition framework where we could be useful to agents over time -- let alone society -- guide the exploration of a reinforcement learning if agents were incapable of cooperating to achieve equitable agent using annotations from an expert oracle.

Reports of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's 2021 Spring Symposium Series

Interactive AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's 2021 Spring Symposium Series was held virtually from March 22-24, 2021. There were ten symposia in the program: Applied AI in Healthcare: Safety, Community, and the Environment, Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Education, Artificial Intelligence for Synthetic Biology, Challenges and Opportunities for Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning, Combining Machine Learning and Knowledge Engineering, Combining Machine Learning with Physical Sciences, Implementing AI Ethics, Leveraging Systems Engineering to Realize Synergistic AI/Machine-Learning Capabilities, Machine Learning for Mobile Robot Navigation in the Wild, and Survival Prediction: Algorithms, Challenges and Applications. This report contains summaries of all the symposia. The two-day international virtual symposium included invited speakers, presenters of research papers, and breakout discussions from attendees around the world. Registrants were from different countries/cities including the US, Canada, Melbourne, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Beijing, Central America, Amsterdam, and Switzerland. We had active discussions about solving health-related, real-world issues in various emerging, ongoing, and underrepresented areas using innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. We primarily focused on AI-assisted and robot-assisted healthcare, with specific focus on areas of improving safety, the community, and the environment through the latest technological advances in our respective fields. The day was kicked off by Raj Puri, Physician and Director of Strategic Health Initiatives & Innovation at Stanford University spoke about a novel, automated sentinel surveillance system his team built mitigating COVID and its integration into their public-facing dashboard of clinical data and metrics. Selected paper presentations during both days were wide ranging including talks from Oliver Bendel, a Professor from Switzerland and his Swiss colleague, Alina Gasser discussing co-robots in care and support, providing the latest information on technologies relating to human-robot interaction and communication. Yizheng Zhao, Associate Professor at Nanjing University and her colleagues from China discussed views of ontologies with applications to logical difference computation in the healthcare sector. Pooria Ghadiri from McGill University, Montreal, Canada discussed his research relating to AI enhancements in health-care delivery for adolescents with mental health problems in the primary care setting.

Coach-Player Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning for Dynamic Team Composition Artificial Intelligence

In real-world multi-agent systems, agents with different capabilities may join or leave without altering the team's overarching goals. Coordinating teams with such dynamic composition is challenging: the optimal team strategy varies with the composition. We propose COPA, a coach-player framework to tackle this problem. We assume the coach has a global view of the environment and coordinates the players, who only have partial views, by distributing individual strategies. Specifically, we 1) adopt the attention mechanism for both the coach and the players; 2) propose a variational objective to regularize learning; and 3) design an adaptive communication method to let the coach decide when to communicate with the players. We validate our methods on a resource collection task, a rescue game, and the StarCraft micromanagement tasks. We demonstrate zero-shot generalization to new team compositions. Our method achieves comparable or better performance than the setting where all players have a full view of the environment. Moreover, we see that the performance remains high even when the coach communicates as little as 13% of the time using the adaptive communication strategy.

Intelligent Agent for Hurricane Emergency Identification and Text Information Extraction from Streaming Social Media Big Data Artificial Intelligence

This paper presents our research on leveraging social media Big Data and AI to support hurricane disaster emergency response. The current practice of hurricane emergency response for rescue highly relies on emergency call centres. The more recent Hurricane Harvey event reveals the limitations of the current systems. We use Hurricane Harvey and the associated Houston flooding as the motivating scenario to conduct research and develop a prototype as a proof-of-concept of using an intelligent agent as a complementary role to support emergency centres in hurricane emergency response. This intelligent agent is used to collect real-time streaming tweets during a natural disaster event, to identify tweets requesting rescue, to extract key information such as address and associated geocode, and to visualize the extracted information in an interactive map in decision supports. Our experiment shows promising outcomes and the potential application of the research in support of hurricane emergency response.