Are you tired of telling machines what to do and what not to do? It’s a large part of regular people’s days – operating dishwashers, smartphones and cars. It’s an even bigger part of life for researchers like me, working on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Much of this is even more boring than driving or talking to a virtual assistant. The most common way of teaching computers new skills – such as telling apart photos of dogs from ones of cats – involves a lot of human interaction or preparation. For instance, if a computer looks at a picture of a cat and labels it “dog,” we have to tell it that’s wrong. But when that gets too cumbersome and tiring, it’s time to build computers that can teach themselves, and retain what they learn. My research team and I have taken a first step toward the sort of learning that people imagine the robots of the future will be capable of – learning by observation and experience, rather than needing to be directly told every little step of what to do. Read more here…

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