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Author

David Silver

Bio: David Silver is an academic researcher from Google. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Reinforcement learning & Artificial neural network. The author has an hindex of 74, co-authored 227 publication(s) receiving 81103 citation(s). Previous affiliations of David Silver include Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital & Carnegie Mellon University.
Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
26 Feb 2015-Nature
TL;DR: This work bridges the divide between high-dimensional sensory inputs and actions, resulting in the first artificial agent that is capable of learning to excel at a diverse array of challenging tasks.
Abstract: The theory of reinforcement learning provides a normative account, deeply rooted in psychological and neuroscientific perspectives on animal behaviour, of how agents may optimize their control of an environment. To use reinforcement learning successfully in situations approaching real-world complexity, however, agents are confronted with a difficult task: they must derive efficient representations of the environment from high-dimensional sensory inputs, and use these to generalize past experience to new situations. Remarkably, humans and other animals seem to solve this problem through a harmonious combination of reinforcement learning and hierarchical sensory processing systems, the former evidenced by a wealth of neural data revealing notable parallels between the phasic signals emitted by dopaminergic neurons and temporal difference reinforcement learning algorithms. While reinforcement learning agents have achieved some successes in a variety of domains, their applicability has previously been limited to domains in which useful features can be handcrafted, or to domains with fully observed, low-dimensional state spaces. Here we use recent advances in training deep neural networks to develop a novel artificial agent, termed a deep Q-network, that can learn successful policies directly from high-dimensional sensory inputs using end-to-end reinforcement learning. We tested this agent on the challenging domain of classic Atari 2600 games. We demonstrate that the deep Q-network agent, receiving only the pixels and the game score as inputs, was able to surpass the performance of all previous algorithms and achieve a level comparable to that of a professional human games tester across a set of 49 games, using the same algorithm, network architecture and hyperparameters. This work bridges the divide between high-dimensional sensory inputs and actions, resulting in the first artificial agent that is capable of learning to excel at a diverse array of challenging tasks.

15,690 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
28 Jan 2016-Nature
TL;DR: Using this search algorithm, the program AlphaGo achieved a 99.8% winning rate against other Go programs, and defeated the human European Go champion by 5 games to 0.5, the first time that a computer program has defeated a human professional player in the full-sized game of Go.
Abstract: The game of Go has long been viewed as the most challenging of classic games for artificial intelligence owing to its enormous search space and the difficulty of evaluating board positions and moves. Here we introduce a new approach to computer Go that uses ‘value networks’ to evaluate board positions and ‘policy networks’ to select moves. These deep neural networks are trained by a novel combination of supervised learning from human expert games, and reinforcement learning from games of self-play. Without any lookahead search, the neural networks play Go at the level of stateof-the-art Monte Carlo tree search programs that simulate thousands of random games of self-play. We also introduce a new search algorithm that combines Monte Carlo simulation with value and policy networks. Using this search algorithm, our program AlphaGo achieved a 99.8% winning rate against other Go programs, and defeated the human European Go champion by 5 games to 0. This is the first time that a computer program has defeated a human professional player in the full-sized game of Go, a feat previously thought to be at least a decade away.

10,555 citations


Posted Content
19 Dec 2013-arXiv: Learning
TL;DR: This work presents the first deep learning model to successfully learn control policies directly from high-dimensional sensory input using reinforcement learning, which outperforms all previous approaches on six of the games and surpasses a human expert on three of them.
Abstract: We present the first deep learning model to successfully learn control policies directly from high-dimensional sensory input using reinforcement learning. The model is a convolutional neural network, trained with a variant of Q-learning, whose input is raw pixels and whose output is a value function estimating future rewards. We apply our method to seven Atari 2600 games from the Arcade Learning Environment, with no adjustment of the architecture or learning algorithm. We find that it outperforms all previous approaches on six of the games and surpasses a human expert on three of them.

6,440 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
19 Oct 2017-Nature
TL;DR: An algorithm based solely on reinforcement learning is introduced, without human data, guidance or domain knowledge beyond game rules, that achieves superhuman performance, winning 100–0 against the previously published, champion-defeating AlphaGo.
Abstract: A long-standing goal of artificial intelligence is an algorithm that learns, tabula rasa, superhuman proficiency in challenging domains. Recently, AlphaGo became the first program to defeat a world champion in the game of Go. The tree search in AlphaGo evaluated positions and selected moves using deep neural networks. These neural networks were trained by supervised learning from human expert moves, and by reinforcement learning from self-play. Here we introduce an algorithm based solely on reinforcement learning, without human data, guidance or domain knowledge beyond game rules. AlphaGo becomes its own teacher: a neural network is trained to predict AlphaGo’s own move selections and also the winner of AlphaGo’s games. This neural network improves the strength of the tree search, resulting in higher quality move selection and stronger self-play in the next iteration. Starting tabula rasa, our new program AlphaGo Zero achieved superhuman performance, winning 100–0 against the previously published, champion-defeating AlphaGo. Starting from zero knowledge and without human data, AlphaGo Zero was able to teach itself to play Go and to develop novel strategies that provide new insights into the oldest of games. To beat world champions at the game of Go, the computer program AlphaGo has relied largely on supervised learning from millions of human expert moves. David Silver and colleagues have now produced a system called AlphaGo Zero, which is based purely on reinforcement learning and learns solely from self-play. Starting from random moves, it can reach superhuman level in just a couple of days of training and five million games of self-play, and can now beat all previous versions of AlphaGo. Because the machine independently discovers the same fundamental principles of the game that took humans millennia to conceptualize, the work suggests that such principles have some universal character, beyond human bias.

5,355 citations


Proceedings Article
19 Jun 2016-
TL;DR: A conceptually simple and lightweight framework for deep reinforcement learning that uses asynchronous gradient descent for optimization of deep neural network controllers and shows that asynchronous actor-critic succeeds on a wide variety of continuous motor control problems as well as on a new task of navigating random 3D mazes using a visual input.
Abstract: We propose a conceptually simple and lightweight framework for deep reinforcement learning that uses asynchronous gradient descent for optimization of deep neural network controllers. We present asynchronous variants of four standard reinforcement learning algorithms and show that parallel actor-learners have a stabilizing effect on training allowing all four methods to successfully train neural network controllers. The best performing method, an asynchronous variant of actor-critic, surpasses the current state-of-the-art on the Atari domain while training for half the time on a single multi-core CPU instead of a GPU. Furthermore, we show that asynchronous actor-critic succeeds on a wide variety of continuous motor control problems as well as on a new task of navigating random 3D mazes using a visual input.

5,192 citations


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Journal ArticleDOI
28 May 2015-Nature
TL;DR: Deep learning is making major advances in solving problems that have resisted the best attempts of the artificial intelligence community for many years, and will have many more successes in the near future because it requires very little engineering by hand and can easily take advantage of increases in the amount of available computation and data.
Abstract: Deep learning allows computational models that are composed of multiple processing layers to learn representations of data with multiple levels of abstraction. These methods have dramatically improved the state-of-the-art in speech recognition, visual object recognition, object detection and many other domains such as drug discovery and genomics. Deep learning discovers intricate structure in large data sets by using the backpropagation algorithm to indicate how a machine should change its internal parameters that are used to compute the representation in each layer from the representation in the previous layer. Deep convolutional nets have brought about breakthroughs in processing images, video, speech and audio, whereas recurrent nets have shone light on sequential data such as text and speech.

33,931 citations


Journal ArticleDOI

[...]

08 Dec 2001-BMJ
TL;DR: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one, which seems an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.
Abstract: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one. I remember first hearing about it at school. It seemed an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality. Usually familiarity dulls this sense of the bizarre, but in the case of i it was the reverse: over the years the sense of its surreal nature intensified. It seemed that it was impossible to write mathematics that described the real world in …

30,199 citations


Book
18 Nov 2016-
Abstract: Deep learning is a form of machine learning that enables computers to learn from experience and understand the world in terms of a hierarchy of concepts. Because the computer gathers knowledge from experience, there is no need for a human computer operator to formally specify all the knowledge that the computer needs. The hierarchy of concepts allows the computer to learn complicated concepts by building them out of simpler ones; a graph of these hierarchies would be many layers deep. This book introduces a broad range of topics in deep learning. The text offers mathematical and conceptual background, covering relevant concepts in linear algebra, probability theory and information theory, numerical computation, and machine learning. It describes deep learning techniques used by practitioners in industry, including deep feedforward networks, regularization, optimization algorithms, convolutional networks, sequence modeling, and practical methodology; and it surveys such applications as natural language processing, speech recognition, computer vision, online recommendation systems, bioinformatics, and videogames. Finally, the book offers research perspectives, covering such theoretical topics as linear factor models, autoencoders, representation learning, structured probabilistic models, Monte Carlo methods, the partition function, approximate inference, and deep generative models. Deep Learning can be used by undergraduate or graduate students planning careers in either industry or research, and by software engineers who want to begin using deep learning in their products or platforms. A website offers supplementary material for both readers and instructors.

26,972 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis.
Abstract: Machine Learning is the study of methods for programming computers to learn. Computers are applied to a wide range of tasks, and for most of these it is relatively easy for programmers to design and implement the necessary software. However, there are many tasks for which this is difficult or impossible. These can be divided into four general categories. First, there are problems for which there exist no human experts. For example, in modern automated manufacturing facilities, there is a need to predict machine failures before they occur by analyzing sensor readings. Because the machines are new, there are no human experts who can be interviewed by a programmer to provide the knowledge necessary to build a computer system. A machine learning system can study recorded data and subsequent machine failures and learn prediction rules. Second, there are problems where human experts exist, but where they are unable to explain their expertise. This is the case in many perceptual tasks, such as speech recognition, hand-writing recognition, and natural language understanding. Virtually all humans exhibit expert-level abilities on these tasks, but none of them can describe the detailed steps that they follow as they perform them. Fortunately, humans can provide machines with examples of the inputs and correct outputs for these tasks, so machine learning algorithms can learn to map the inputs to the outputs. Third, there are problems where phenomena are changing rapidly. In finance, for example, people would like to predict the future behavior of the stock market, of consumer purchases, or of exchange rates. These behaviors change frequently, so that even if a programmer could construct a good predictive computer program, it would need to be rewritten frequently. A learning program can relieve the programmer of this burden by constantly modifying and tuning a set of learned prediction rules. Fourth, there are applications that need to be customized for each computer user separately. Consider, for example, a program to filter unwanted electronic mail messages. Different users will need different filters. It is unreasonable to expect each user to program his or her own rules, and it is infeasible to provide every user with a software engineer to keep the rules up-to-date. A machine learning system can learn which mail messages the user rejects and maintain the filtering rules automatically. Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis. Statistics focuses on understanding the phenomena that have generated the data, often with the goal of testing different hypotheses about those phenomena. Data mining seeks to find patterns in the data that are understandable by people. Psychological studies of human learning aspire to understand the mechanisms underlying the various learning behaviors exhibited by people (concept learning, skill acquisition, strategy change, etc.).

12,323 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2015-Neural Networks
TL;DR: This historical survey compactly summarizes relevant work, much of it from the previous millennium, review deep supervised learning, unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning & evolutionary computation, and indirect search for short programs encoding deep and large networks.
Abstract: In recent years, deep artificial neural networks (including recurrent ones) have won numerous contests in pattern recognition and machine learning. This historical survey compactly summarizes relevant work, much of it from the previous millennium. Shallow and Deep Learners are distinguished by the depth of their credit assignment paths, which are chains of possibly learnable, causal links between actions and effects. I review deep supervised learning (also recapitulating the history of backpropagation), unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning & evolutionary computation, and indirect search for short programs encoding deep and large networks.

11,176 citations


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Performance
Metrics

Author's H-index: 74

No. of papers from the Author in previous years
YearPapers
202113
202020
201922
201830
201720
201621

Top Attributes

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Author's top 5 most impactful journals

arXiv: Learning

45 papers, 15.9K citations

arXiv: Artificial Intelligence

15 papers, 2.7K citations

Nature

6 papers, 34.2K citations

Proteins

2 papers, 171 citations