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[R] Video Analysis: MuZero – Mastering Atari, Go, Chess and Shogi by Planning with a Learned Model

MuZero harnesses the power of AlphaZero, but without relying on an accurate environment model. This opens up planning-based reinforcement learning to entirely new domains, where such environment models aren’t available. The difference to previous work is that, instead of learning a model predicting future observations, MuZero predicts the future observations’ latent representations, and thus learns to only represent things that matter to the task!


Constructing agents with planning capabilities has long been one of the main challenges in the pursuit of artificial intelligence. Tree-based planning methods have enjoyed huge success in challenging domains, such as chess and Go, where a perfect simulator is available. However, in real-world problems the dynamics governing the environment are often complex and unknown. In this work we present the MuZero algorithm which, by combining a tree-based search with a learned model, achieves superhuman performance in a range of challenging and visually complex domains, without any knowledge of their underlying dynamics. MuZero learns a model that, when applied iteratively, predicts the quantities most directly relevant to planning: the reward, the action-selection policy, and the value function. When evaluated on 57 different Atari games – the canonical video game environment for testing AI techniques, in which model-based planning approaches have historically struggled – our new algorithm achieved a new state of the art. When evaluated on Go, chess and shogi, without any knowledge of the game rules, MuZero matched the superhuman performance of the AlphaZero algorithm that was supplied with the game rules.

Authors: Julian Schrittwieser, Ioannis Antonoglou, Thomas Hubert, Karen Simonyan, Laurent Sifre, Simon Schmitt, Arthur Guez, Edward Lockhart, Demis Hassabis, Thore Graepel, Timothy Lillicrap, David Silver

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Toronto AI is a social and collaborative hub to unite AI innovators of Toronto and surrounding areas. We explore AI technologies in digital art and music, healthcare, marketing, fintech, vr, robotics and more. Toronto AI was founded by Dave MacDonald and Patrick O'Mara.