Through analysis in reinforcement studying, Martha White hopes to develop synthetic intelligence (AI) to make it extra relevant to the actual world.
White, an affiliate pc science professor on the University of Alberta since 2017, has been named one of many prime 10 AI researchers to observe on the earth by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. White researches reinforcement studying, an area of study within the area of AI.
White described the goal of reinforcement studying as bringing statistical strategies to resolution making.
“You can imagine in the most natural learning setting, you have a little robot, and it’s driving around and taking some action, like driving towards a goal,” White defined. “It gets positive rewards and it takes good actions, and it gets negative rewards and it gets bad actions. And we’d like to try to get our agents to do good things.”
According to White, sure widely-used reinforcement studying algorithms have well-known flaws, which in some circumstances result in poor options the place estimates turn into larger and greater. White’s analysis contains growing a number of new algorithms that deal with these points.
White obtained concerned with AI research throughout her undergraduate diploma on the U of A.
“I started doing undergraduate research at the U of A with people in the computer science department,” White stated. “It’s one of those kinds of problems that hooks you if you get to think a lot about how humans learn, and how to get computers to learn.”
“[AI research] also involves a lot of math, and my undergraduate was in math,” White stated. “So it’s sort of bringing together this really big exciting problem with a lot of technical tools.”
When reflecting on being named one of many prime 10 synthetic intelligence researchers to observe on the earth, White is glad her work is being acknowledged, however finally hopes this title brings extra consideration to U of A analysis.
“You never know for sure if anyone is paying attention to your work, and my research does matter to me,” White stated. “I just hope it has an impact somewhere, so recognition of that impact is always a nice thing to see. The other reason I am happy about this award is that U of A is sometimes not as noticed as other places, so I feel like it also helps put U of A on the map.”
For college students aspiring to become involved in AI research, White suggested getting began early and preserving an open thoughts.
“Don’t narrow your focus too quickly, you might see one area and think, oh that looks really cool, I definitely have to work on that, but there’s just so many cool problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” White stated.
“Go to the area [of study] with an open mind, look for the hard problems, and try to contribute to solving those problems.”