Deep Learning of Robotic Tasks without a Simulator using Strong and Weak Human Supervision

We propose a scheme for training a computerized agent to perform complex human tasks such as highway steering. The scheme is designed to follow a natural learning process whereby a human instructor teaches a computerized trainee. The learning process consists of five elements: (i) unsupervised feature learning; (ii) supervised imitation learning; (iii) supervised reward induction; (iv) supervised safety module construction; and (v) reinforcement learning. We implemented the last four elements of the scheme using deep convolutional networks and applied it to successfully create a computerized agent capable of autonomous highway steering over the well-known racing game Assetto Corsa. We demonstrate that the use of the last four elements is essential to effectively carry out the steering task using vision alone, without access to a driving simulator internals, and operating in wall-clock time. This is made possible also through the introduction of a safety network, a novel way for preventing the agent from performing catastrophic mistakes during the reinforcement learning stage.

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