researchers search for a way to drive machine learning. The key ingredient its future development may be a dash of curiosity.
There are all kinds of AI systems currently used by various businesses with different names like Alexa and Albert to personalize then. Perhaps it's time for an AI system named George after the monkey whose curiosity propels him into various adventures.
That would be an apt choice for the Intrinsic Curiosity Module (ICM) developed by a group of four researchers at University of California, Berkeley. The attempt to inject curiosity to achieve self-motivated advances in machine learning was the subject of their paper, Curiosity-driven Exploration by Self-supervised Prediction, that was just submitted to the 34th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2017).
Their premise is that external rewards for learning are of necessity limited and actually rather rare in real life. That doesn't mean that people stop exploring or seeking out answers even when there are no prizes for doing. They are motivated by their own human curiosity. Infusing that kind of motivation in a virtual agent gets it to test things out for itself even when not directed to do so. The test of the effect was done in monitoring how far it would proceed in two video games, VizDoom and Super Mario Bros. as you see in the demo video here: