Funding, Reinforcement, Research

A Real World Reinforcement Learning Research Program

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A Real World Reinforcement Learning Research Program We are hiring for reinforcement learning related research at all levels and all MSR labs. If you are interested, apply, talk to me at COLT or ICML, or email me. More generally though, I wanted to lay out a philosophy of research which differs from (and plausibly improves on) the current prevailing mode. Deepmind and OpenAI have popularized an empirical approach where researchers modify algorithms and test them against simulated environments, including in self-play. They’ve achieved significant success in these simulated environments, greatly expanding the reportoire of ‘games solved by reinforcement learning’ which consisted of the singleton backgammon when I was a graduate student. Given the ambitious goals of these organizations, the more general plan seems to be “first solve games, then solve real problems”. There are some weaknesses to this approach, which…
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