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Conversational Agents: Theory and Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this chapter, we provide a review of conversational agents (CAs), discussing chatbots, intended for casual conversation with a user, as well as task-oriented agents that generally engage in discussions intended to reach one or several specific goals, often (but not always) within a specific domain. We also consider the concept of embodied conversational agents, briefly reviewing aspects such as character animation and speech processing. The many different approaches for representing dialogue in CAs are discussed in some detail, along with methods for evaluating such agents, emphasizing the important topics of accountability and interpretability. A brief historical overview is given, followed by an extensive overview of various applications, especially in the fields of health and education. We end the chapter by discussing benefits and potential risks regarding the societal impact of current and future CA technology.


Learning to Coordinate with Humans using Action Features

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

An unaddressed challenge in human-AI coordination is to enable AI agents to exploit the semantic relationships between the features of actions and the features of observations. Humans take advantage of these relationships in highly intuitive ways. For instance, in the absence of a shared language, we might point to the object we desire or hold up our fingers to indicate how many objects we want. To address this challenge, we investigate the effect of network architecture on the propensity of learning algorithms to exploit these semantic relationships. Across a procedurally generated coordination task, we find that attention-based architectures that jointly process a featurized representation of observations and actions have a better inductive bias for zero-shot coordination. Through fine-grained evaluation and scenario analysis, we show that the resulting policies are human-interpretable. Moreover, such agents coordinate with people without training on any human data.


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.


A Survey on Hyperdimensional Computing aka Vector Symbolic Architectures, Part II: Applications, Cognitive Models, and Challenges

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This is Part II of the two-part comprehensive survey devoted to a computing framework most commonly known under the names Hyperdimensional Computing and Vector Symbolic Architectures (HDC/VSA). Both names refer to a family of computational models that use high-dimensional distributed representations and rely on the algebraic properties of their key operations to incorporate the advantages of structured symbolic representations and vector distributed representations. Holographic Reduced Representations is an influential HDC/VSA model that is well-known in the machine learning domain and often used to refer to the whole family. However, for the sake of consistency, we use HDC/VSA to refer to the area. Part I of this survey covered foundational aspects of the area, such as historical context leading to the development of HDC/VSA, key elements of any HDC/VSA model, known HDC/VSA models, and transforming input data of various types into high-dimensional vectors suitable for HDC/VSA. This second part surveys existing applications, the role of HDC/VSA in cognitive computing and architectures, as well as directions for future work. Most of the applications lie within the machine learning/artificial intelligence domain, however we also cover other applications to provide a thorough picture. The survey is written to be useful for both newcomers and practitioners.


Forecasting: theory and practice

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Forecasting has always been at the forefront of decision making and planning. The uncertainty that surrounds the future is both exciting and challenging, with individuals and organisations seeking to minimise risks and maximise utilities. The large number of forecasting applications calls for a diverse set of forecasting methods to tackle real-life challenges. This article provides a non-systematic review of the theory and the practice of forecasting. We provide an overview of a wide range of theoretical, state-of-the-art models, methods, principles, and approaches to prepare, produce, organise, and evaluate forecasts. We then demonstrate how such theoretical concepts are applied in a variety of real-life contexts. We do not claim that this review is an exhaustive list of methods and applications. However, we wish that our encyclopedic presentation will offer a point of reference for the rich work that has been undertaken over the last decades, with some key insights for the future of forecasting theory and practice. Given its encyclopedic nature, the intended mode of reading is non-linear. We offer cross-references to allow the readers to navigate through the various topics. We complement the theoretical concepts and applications covered by large lists of free or open-source software implementations and publicly-available databases.


Challenges of Artificial Intelligence -- From Machine Learning and Computer Vision to Emotional Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of everyday conversation and our lives. It is considered as the new electricity that is revolutionizing the world. AI is heavily invested in both industry and academy. However, there is also a lot of hype in the current AI debate. AI based on so-called deep learning has achieved impressive results in many problems, but its limits are already visible. AI has been under research since the 1940s, and the industry has seen many ups and downs due to over-expectations and related disappointments that have followed. The purpose of this book is to give a realistic picture of AI, its history, its potential and limitations. We believe that AI is a helper, not a ruler of humans. We begin by describing what AI is and how it has evolved over the decades. After fundamentals, we explain the importance of massive data for the current mainstream of artificial intelligence. The most common representations for AI, methods, and machine learning are covered. In addition, the main application areas are introduced. Computer vision has been central to the development of AI. The book provides a general introduction to computer vision, and includes an exposure to the results and applications of our own research. Emotions are central to human intelligence, but little use has been made in AI. We present the basics of emotional intelligence and our own research on the topic. We discuss super-intelligence that transcends human understanding, explaining why such achievement seems impossible on the basis of present knowledge,and how AI could be improved. Finally, a summary is made of the current state of AI and what to do in the future. In the appendix, we look at the development of AI education, especially from the perspective of contents at our own university.


What is Event Knowledge Graph: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Besides entity-centric knowledge, usually organized as Knowledge Graph (KG), events are also an essential kind of knowledge in the world, which trigger the spring up of event-centric knowledge representation form like Event KG (EKG). It plays an increasingly important role in many machine learning and artificial intelligence applications, such as intelligent search, question-answering, recommendation, and text generation. This paper provides a comprehensive survey of EKG from history, ontology, instance, and application views. Specifically, to characterize EKG thoroughly, we focus on its history, definitions, schema induction, acquisition, related representative graphs/systems, and applications. The development processes and trends are studied therein. We further summarize perspective directions to facilitate future research on EKG.


Abstractions of General Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is devoted to the creation of artificial decision-makers that can perform (at least) on par with the human counterparts on a domain of interest. Unlike the agents in traditional AI, the agents in artificial general intelligence (AGI) are required to replicate human intelligence in almost every domain of interest. Moreover, an AGI agent should be able to achieve this without (virtually any) further changes, retraining, or fine-tuning of the parameters. The real world is non-stationary, non-ergodic, and non-Markovian: we, humans, can neither revisit our past nor are the most recent observations sufficient statistics. Yet, we excel at a variety of complex tasks. Many of these tasks require longterm planning. We can associate this success to our natural faculty to abstract away task-irrelevant information from our overwhelming sensory experience. We make task-specific mental models of the world without much effort. Due to this ability to abstract, we can plan on a significantly compact representation of a task without much loss of performance. Not only this, we also abstract our actions to produce high-level plans: the level of action-abstraction can be anywhere between small muscle movements to a mental notion of "doing an action". It is natural to assume that any AGI agent competing with humans (at every plausible domain) should also have these abilities to abstract its experiences and actions. This thesis is an inquiry into the existence of such abstractions which aid efficient planing for a wide range of domains, and most importantly, these abstractions come with some optimality guarantees.


Modeling Strong and Human-Like Gameplay with KL-Regularized Search

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We consider the task of building strong but human-like policies in multi-agent decision-making problems, given examples of human behavior. Imitation learning is effective at predicting human actions but may not match the strength of expert humans, while self-play learning and search techniques (e.g. AlphaZero) lead to strong performance but may produce policies that are difficult for humans to understand and coordinate with. We show in chess and Go that regularizing search policies based on the KL divergence from an imitation-learned policy by applying Monte Carlo tree search produces policies that have higher human prediction accuracy and are stronger than the imitation policy. We then introduce a novel regret minimization algorithm that is regularized based on the KL divergence from an imitation-learned policy, and show that applying this algorithm to no-press Diplomacy yields a policy that maintains the same human prediction accuracy as imitation learning while being substantially stronger.


Artificial Intellgence -- Application in Life Sciences and Beyond. The Upper Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium UR-AI 2021

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents the accepted papers of the 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium' held on October 27th 2021 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Topics of the conference are applications of Artificial Intellgence in life sciences, intelligent systems, industry 4.0, mobility and others. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Offenburg and Trier, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.