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Credit Assignment & Meta-Learning in a Single Lifelong Trial
Jürgen Schmidhuber

Mon Dec 13 06:30 AM -- 07:00 AM (PST) @ None

Most current artificial reinforcement learning (RL) agents are trained under the assumption of repeatable trials, and are reset at the beginning of each trial. Humans, however, are never reset. Instead, they are allowed to discover computable patterns across trials, e.g.: in every third trial, go left to obtain reward, otherwise go right. General RL (sometimes called AGI) must assume a single lifelong trial which may or may not include identifiable sub-trials. General RL must also explicitly take into account that policy changes in early life may affect properties of later sub-trials and policy changes. In particular, General RL must take into account recursively that early meta-meta-learning is setting the stage for later meta-learning which is setting the stage for later learning etc. Most popular RL mechanisms, however, ignore such lifelong credit assignment chains. Exceptions are the success story algorithm (1990s), AIXI (2000s), and the mathematically optimal Gödel Machine (2003).

Author Information

Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI); NNAISENSE; KAUST)

Since age 15 or so, the main goal of professor Jürgen Schmidhuber has been to build a self-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) smarter than himself, then retire. His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks based on ideas published in the "Annus Mirabilis" 1990-1991 have revolutionised machine learning and AI. By the mid 2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day through users of the world's most valuable public companies, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications. In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets, with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep NN to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection). All of this attracted enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in metalearning machines that learn to learn (since 1987). In 1990, he introduced unsupervised adversarial neural networks that fight each other in a minimax game to achieve artificial curiosity (GANs are a special case). In 1991, he introduced very deep learning through unsupervised pre-training, and neural fast weight programmers formally equivalent to what's now called linear Transformers. His formal theory of creativity & curiosity & fun explains art, science, music, and humor. He also generalized algorithmic information theory and the many-worlds theory of physics, and introduced the concept of Low-Complexity Art, the information age's extreme form of minimal art. He is recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE, which aims at building the first practical general purpose AI. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and advising various governments on AI strategies.

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