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Prospective Learning: Back to the Future

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Research on both natural intelligence (NI) and artificial intelligence (AI) generally assumes that the future resembles the past: intelligent agents or systems (what we call 'intelligence') observe and act on the world, then use this experience to act on future experiences of the same kind. We call this 'retrospective learning'. For example, an intelligence may see a set of pictures of objects, along with their names, and learn to name them. A retrospective learning intelligence would merely be able to name more pictures of the same objects. We argue that this is not what true intelligence is about. In many real world problems, both NIs and AIs will have to learn for an uncertain future. Both must update their internal models to be useful for future tasks, such as naming fundamentally new objects and using these objects effectively in a new context or to achieve previously unencountered goals. This ability to learn for the future we call 'prospective learning'. We articulate four relevant factors that jointly define prospective learning. Continual learning enables intelligences to remember those aspects of the past which it believes will be most useful in the future. Prospective constraints (including biases and priors) facilitate the intelligence finding general solutions that will be applicable to future problems. Curiosity motivates taking actions that inform future decision making, including in previously unmet situations. Causal estimation enables learning the structure of relations that guide choosing actions for specific outcomes, even when the specific action-outcome contingencies have never been observed before. We argue that a paradigm shift from retrospective to prospective learning will enable the communities that study intelligence to unite and overcome existing bottlenecks to more effectively explain, augment, and engineer intelligences.


Deep Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Deep reinforcement learning has gathered much attention recently. Impressive results were achieved in activities as diverse as autonomous driving, game playing, molecular recombination, and robotics. In all these fields, computer programs have taught themselves to solve difficult problems. They have learned to fly model helicopters and perform aerobatic manoeuvers such as loops and rolls. In some applications they have even become better than the best humans, such as in Atari, Go, poker and StarCraft. The way in which deep reinforcement learning explores complex environments reminds us of how children learn, by playfully trying out things, getting feedback, and trying again. The computer seems to truly possess aspects of human learning; this goes to the heart of the dream of artificial intelligence. The successes in research have not gone unnoticed by educators, and universities have started to offer courses on the subject. The aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive overview of the field of deep reinforcement learning. The book is written for graduate students of artificial intelligence, and for researchers and practitioners who wish to better understand deep reinforcement learning methods and their challenges. We assume an undergraduate-level of understanding of computer science and artificial intelligence; the programming language of this book is Python. We describe the foundations, the algorithms and the applications of deep reinforcement learning. We cover the established model-free and model-based methods that form the basis of the field. Developments go quickly, and we also cover advanced topics: deep multi-agent reinforcement learning, deep hierarchical reinforcement learning, and deep meta learning.


Model-based Reinforcement Learning: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Sequential decision making, commonly formalized as Markov Decision Process (MDP) optimization, is a key challenge in artificial intelligence. Two key approaches to this problem are reinforcement learning (RL) and planning. This paper presents a survey of the integration of both fields, better known as model-based reinforcement learning. Model-based RL has two main steps. First, we systematically cover approaches to dynamics model learning, including challenges like dealing with stochasticity, uncertainty, partial observability, and temporal abstraction. Second, we present a systematic categorization of planning-learning integration, including aspects like: where to start planning, what budgets to allocate to planning and real data collection, how to plan, and how to integrate planning in the learning and acting loop. After these two key sections, we also discuss the potential benefits of model-based RL, like enhanced data efficiency, targeted exploration, and improved stability. Along the survey, we also draw connections to several related RL fields, like hierarchical RL and transfer, and other research disciplines, like behavioural psychology. Altogether, the survey presents a broad conceptual overview of planning-learning combinations for MDP optimization.


AI Research Considerations for Human Existential Safety (ARCHES)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Framed in positive terms, this report examines how technical AI research might be steered in a manner that is more attentive to humanity's long-term prospects for survival as a species. In negative terms, we ask what existential risks humanity might face from AI development in the next century, and by what principles contemporary technical research might be directed to address those risks. A key property of hypothetical AI technologies is introduced, called \emph{prepotence}, which is useful for delineating a variety of potential existential risks from artificial intelligence, even as AI paradigms might shift. A set of \auxref{dirtot} contemporary research \directions are then examined for their potential benefit to existential safety. Each research direction is explained with a scenario-driven motivation, and examples of existing work from which to build. The research directions present their own risks and benefits to society that could occur at various scales of impact, and in particular are not guaranteed to benefit existential safety if major developments in them are deployed without adequate forethought and oversight. As such, each direction is accompanied by a consideration of potentially negative side effects.


Artificial Intelligence for Social Good: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial 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 [1]; email writing becomes much faster with machine learning (ML) based auto-completion [2]; many businesses have adopted natural language processing based chatbots as part of their customer services [3]. AI has also greatly advanced human capabilities in complex decision-making processes ranging from determining how to allocate security resources to protect airports [4] to games such as poker [5] and Go [6]. All such tangible and stunning progress suggests that an "AI summer" is happening. As some put it, "AI is the new electricity" [7]. 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.


A framework for deep energy-based reinforcement learning with quantum speed-up

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the past decade, deep learning methods have seen tremendous success in various supervised and unsupervised learning tasks such as classification and generative modeling. More recently, deep neural networks have emerged in the domain of reinforcement learning as a tool to solve decision-making problems of unprecedented complexity, e.g., navigation problems or game-playing AI. Despite the successful combinations of ideas from quantum computing with machine learning methods, there have been relatively few attempts to design quantum algorithms that would enhance deep reinforcement learning. This is partly due to the fact that quantum enhancements of deep neural networks, in general, have not been as extensively investigated as other quantum machine learning methods. In contrast, projective simulation is a reinforcement learning model inspired by the stochastic evolution of physical systems that enables a quantum speed-up in decision making. In this paper, we develop a unifying framework that connects deep learning and projective simulation, opening the route to quantum improvements in deep reinforcement learning. Our approach is based on so-called generative energy-based models to design reinforcement learning methods with a computational advantage in solving complex and large-scale decision-making problems.


ML + FV = $\heartsuit$? A Survey on the Application of Machine Learning to Formal Verification

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Formal Verification (FV) and Machine Learning (ML) can seem incompatible due to their opposite mathematical foundations and their use in real-life problems: FV mostly relies on discrete mathematics and aims at ensuring correctness; ML often relies on probabilistic models and consists of learning patterns from training data. In this paper, we postulate that they are complementary in practice, and explore how ML helps FV in its classical approaches: static analysis, model-checking, theorem-proving, and SAT solving. We draw a landscape of the current practice and catalog some of the most prominent uses of ML inside FV tools, thus offering a new perspective on FV techniques that can help researchers and practitioners to better locate the possible synergies. We discuss lessons learned from our work, point to possible improvements and offer visions for the future of the domain in the light of the science of software and systems modeling.


A Survey of Available Corpora for Building Data-Driven Dialogue Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

During the past decade, several areas of speech and language understanding have witnessed substantial breakthroughs from the use of data-driven models. In the area of dialogue systems, the trend is less obvious, and most practical systems are still built through significant engineering and expert knowledge. Nevertheless, several recent results suggest that data-driven approaches are feasible and quite promising. To facilitate research in this area, we have carried out a wide survey of publicly available datasets suitable for data-driven learning of dialogue systems. We discuss important characteristics of these datasets, how they can be used to learn diverse dialogue strategies, and their other potential uses. We also examine methods for transfer learning between datasets and the use of external knowledge. Finally, we discuss appropriate choice of evaluation metrics for the learning objective.