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Google Helps AI Learn To Book Flights on the Web

Saturday December 29, 2018. 02:01 AM , from Slashdot
Researchers at Google's AI labs created a couple of novel neural networks that can succeed in navigating web forms, such as an online flight-booking site. Although baby steps at the moment, the program succeeds as well or better than some models trained using human demonstrations of pointing and clicking. From a report: In a new paper from the team, they trained a neural network to understand the structure of web pages and the choices it can make when filling out forms in an airline ticket booker, or interacting with a social media site. The work broadly employs the same category of machine learning as Google's Go-winning AlphaZero software, what is known as 'reinforcement learning.' In RL, a neural network develops strategies of steps to take at each stage of trying to solve a problem as it receives rewards for good choices. The researchers figured out a way to train a neural network without being given human examples of how to navigate an online booking form. The approach makes the task of learning webpages and social media networks more 'scalable,' they write, where the possible combinations of states and actions can reach into the tens of millions. The point is not necessarily to actually book a flight; it's more an exercise in how a neural network can find solutions to a problem with numerous variables, where human guidance, or 'supervision,' in training is infeasible.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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