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This is an email from Reinforcement Learning Newsletter, a newsletter by RL Agent.

#6: RL Goes Nuclear, RL Assists Anesthesiologists, MuZero Powers YouTube, Outracing Champion Gran Turismo Drivers

Deep RL Model Controls Nuclear Fusion Plasma

As yet another breakthrough in RL; DeepMind announces that they have developed a deep RL model to control the nuclear fusion plasma in a tokamak in partnership with the Swiss Plasma Center of EPFL.

Plasma inside the TCV tokamak. Credit: Curdin Wüthrich /SPC/EPFL Source: phys.org

Fusion power has major advantages over traditional nuclear power based on fission, such as reduced radioactivity, minimal nuclear waste, and increased safety. Yet, the technology has not been practical due to multiple challenges, one of which is the instability in the control of the process that produces Sun-like heat. The success of DeepMind’s RL model, therefore, made a big splash across the media, academia, and industry. The study is published in Nature and covered in many outlets:

RL Model Controls Doses of Propofol, Assisting Anesthesiologists

Researchers from MIT and Massachusets General Hospital published a study in which they use deep RL to control propofol dosing during general anesthesia. The model is based on an actor-critic architecture and it significantly outperforms a PID controller baseline. Healthcare is expected to benefit from RL research in a significant way, and this news is a step in that direction. You can read more about the story on MIT News.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

MuZero Powers YouTube to Optimize Video Compression

The MuZero model, a descendant of the famous AlphaGo that beat the world Go champion, is used to optimize the compression of YouTube videos, DeepMind announces. As YouTube accounts for a major portion of the world’s internet traffic (35% in mobile), the 6.28% reduction in compressed video size MuZero has achieved is pretty significant. The details of the work are available in an ArXiv preprint.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Outracing Champion Gran Turismo Drivers

Sony A.I., Gran Turismo. Source: NPR

Sony A.I. announces a deep RL model that beats world champions in the famous PlayStation game Gran Turismo, which is known for its accurate representation of race car dynamics. The work continues the series of RL outperforming humans in competitive e-sports. The study is published in Nature and covered by NPR.

Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Recent publications on Reinforcement Learning

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