The Future of AI is Reinforcement Learning — here's why

Martha White presents to a full room at AI Week

AI that supports and collaborates with people will make us more effective – which renowned researcher Martha White argues is why RL is the future of AI

What do you envision when you think about AI? Self-driving cars, smart vacuums, sci-fi-style robots?

When Martha White (Fellow & Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii) thinks of AI, she thinks of supportive AI – artificial intelligence that supports and collaborates with people to make us more effective.

Ideally, this collaboration allows humans to make important higher-level decisions, with the AI taking care of lower-level decisions and making sense of complex information. For example, a robot that assesses a patient’s information to recommend options to their doctor, who then takes a patient’s personal information and preferences into account to choose the best treatment plan.

Supportive AI requires two things: the AI must be able to adapt to its human collaborator and complement their skillset. Reinforcement learning possesses both of these qualities. Presenting her keynote at AI Week 2022, White asserted that this is why reinforcement learning (RL) is the next big thing in AI.

Reinforcement learning is an area of machine learning where AI systems learn by experience. Instead of being told how to achieve a goal, the RL systems interact with their environments, earning positive or negative rewards (as defined by humans) and learning which actions yield the most reward by trying them.

Watch White’s keynote now, which explores:

  • What RL is and how it works
  • Ways it’s currently being used
  • The advantage of using AI agents that can continually learn, and
  • Alberta’s unique opportunity to lead the development and use of RL in the real world

Hungry for more in-depth explorations of AI and machine learning? Check out our playlist of AI Week 2022 keynotes and select presentations.

AI Week is now Upper Bound

Packed room at AI Week, people clapping

In 2022, more than 2,000 people celebrated 20 years of artificial intelligence research excellence with us at AI Week. It was a resounding success, with more than 50 events, 100 speakers and guests joining us from 38 countries.

Building on the success of that gathering, 2023’s Upper Bound is poised to be Canada’s largest convergence of AI researchers and applied professionals.

What started as an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come is now an annual gathering of the best and brightest in the field.

We look forward to welcoming you in 2023 and many more years to come.

Learn more and get your ticket now!

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