Collaborating Authors


On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Artificial Intelligence

AI is undergoing a paradigm shift with the rise of models (e.g., BERT, DALL-E, GPT-3) that are trained on broad data at scale and are adaptable to a wide range of downstream tasks. We call these models foundation models to underscore their critically central yet incomplete character. This report provides a thorough account of the opportunities and risks of foundation models, ranging from their capabilities (e.g., language, vision, robotics, reasoning, human interaction) and technical principles(e.g., model architectures, training procedures, data, systems, security, evaluation, theory) to their applications (e.g., law, healthcare, education) and societal impact (e.g., inequity, misuse, economic and environmental impact, legal and ethical considerations). Though foundation models are based on standard deep learning and transfer learning, their scale results in new emergent capabilities,and their effectiveness across so many tasks incentivizes homogenization. Homogenization provides powerful leverage but demands caution, as the defects of the foundation model are inherited by all the adapted models downstream. Despite the impending widespread deployment of foundation models, we currently lack a clear understanding of how they work, when they fail, and what they are even capable of due to their emergent properties. To tackle these questions, we believe much of the critical research on foundation models will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration commensurate with their fundamentally sociotechnical nature.

Learning off-road maneuver plans for autonomous vehicles Artificial Intelligence

This thesis explores the benefits machine learning algorithms can bring to online planning and scheduling for autonomous vehicles in off-road situations. Mainly, we focus on typical problems of interest which include computing itineraries that meet certain objectives, as well as computing scheduling strategies to execute synchronized maneuvers with other vehicles. We present a range of learning-based heuristics to assist different itinerary planners. We show that these heuristics allow a significant increase in performance for optimal planners. Furthermore, in the case of approximate planning, we show that not only does the running time decrease, the quality of the itinerary found also becomes almost always better. Finally, in order to synthesize strategies to execute synchronized maneuvers, we propose a novel type of scheduling controllability and a learning-assisted algorithm. The proposed framework achieves significant improvement on known benchmarks in this controllability type over the performance of state-of-the-art works in a related controllability type. Moreover, it is able to find strategies on complex scheduling problems for which previous works fail to do so.

Importance measures derived from random forests: characterisation and extension Machine Learning

Nowadays new technologies, and especially artificial intelligence, are more and more established in our society. Big data analysis and machine learning, two sub-fields of artificial intelligence, are at the core of many recent breakthroughs in many application fields (e.g., medicine, communication, finance, ...), including some that are strongly related to our day-to-day life (e.g., social networks, computers, smartphones, ...). In machine learning, significant improvements are usually achieved at the price of an increasing computational complexity and thanks to bigger datasets. Currently, cutting-edge models built by the most advanced machine learning algorithms typically became simultaneously very efficient and profitable but also extremely complex. Their complexity is to such an extent that these models are commonly seen as black-boxes providing a prediction or a decision which can not be interpreted or justified. Nevertheless, whether these models are used autonomously or as a simple decision-making support tool, they are already being used in machine learning applications where health and human life are at stake. Therefore, it appears to be an obvious necessity not to blindly believe everything coming out of those models without a detailed understanding of their predictions or decisions. Accordingly, this thesis aims at improving the interpretability of models built by a specific family of machine learning algorithms, the so-called tree-based methods. Several mechanisms have been proposed to interpret these models and we aim along this thesis to improve their understanding, study their properties, and define their limitations.

Patterns, predictions, and actions: A story about machine learning Machine Learning

This graduate textbook on machine learning tells a story of how patterns in data support predictions and consequential actions. Starting with the foundations of decision making, we cover representation, optimization, and generalization as the constituents of supervised learning. A chapter on datasets as benchmarks examines their histories and scientific bases. Self-contained introductions to causality, the practice of causal inference, sequential decision making, and reinforcement learning equip the reader with concepts and tools to reason about actions and their consequences. Throughout, the text discusses historical context and societal impact. We invite readers from all backgrounds; some experience with probability, calculus, and linear algebra suffices.

State of the Art in Automated Machine Learning


In recent years, machine learning has been very successful in solving a wide range of problems. In particular, neural networks have reached human, and sometimes super-human, levels of ability in tasks such as language translation, object recognition, game playing, and even driving cars. Prevent out-of-control infrastructure and remove blockers to deployments. With this growth in capability has come a growth in complexity. Data scientists and machine learning engineers must perform feature engineering, design model architectures, and optimize hyperparameters. Since the purpose of the machine learning is to automate a task normally done by humans, naturally the next step is to automate the tasks of data scientists and engineers. This area of research is called automated machine learning, or AutoML. There have been many exciting developments in AutoML recently, and it's important to take a look at the current state of the art and learn about what's happening now and what's coming up in the future. InfoQ reached out to the following subject matter experts in the industry to discuss the current state and future trends in AutoML space. InfoQ: What is AutoML and why is it important? Francesca Lazzeri: AutoML is the process of automating the time consuming, iterative tasks of machine learning model development, including model selection and hyperparameter tuning.

Artificial Intelligence Enabled Software Defined Networking: A Comprehensive Overview Artificial Intelligence

Software defined networking (SDN) represents a promising networking architecture that combines central management and network programmability. SDN separates the control plane from the data plane and moves the network management to a central point, called the controller, that can be programmed and used as the brain of the network. Recently, the research community has showed an increased tendency to benefit from the recent advancements in the artificial intelligence (AI) field to provide learning abilities and better decision making in SDN. In this study, we provide a detailed overview of the recent efforts to include AI in SDN. Our study showed that the research efforts focused on three main sub-fields of AI namely: machine learning, meta-heuristics and fuzzy inference systems. Accordingly, in this work we investigate their different application areas and potential use, as well as the improvements achieved by including AI-based techniques in the SDN paradigm.

Survey on Models and Techniques for Root-Cause Analysis Artificial Intelligence

Automation and computer intelligence to support complex human decisions becomes essential to manage large and distributed systems in the Cloud and IoT era. Understanding the root cause of an observed symptom in a complex system has been a major problem for decades. As industry dives into the IoT world and the amount of data generated per year grows at an amazing speed, an important question is how to find appropriate mechanisms to determine root causes that can handle huge amounts of data or may provide valuable feedback in real-time. While many survey papers aim at summarizing the landscape of techniques for modelling system behavior and infering the root cause of a problem based in the resulting models, none of those focuses on analyzing how the different techniques in the literature fit growing requirements in terms of performance and scalability. In this survey, we provide a review of root-cause analysis, focusing on these particular aspects. We also provide guidance to choose the best root-cause analysis strategy depending on the requirements of a particular system and application.