My research interests are in the areas of brain-inspired machine intelligence and its applications such as mobile robots and autonomous vehicles. To achieve true machine intelligence, I have taken two different approaches: bottom-up data-driven and top-down theory-driven approach. For the bottom-up data-driven approach, I have investigated the neuronal structure of the brain to understand its function. The development of a high-throughput and high-resolution 3D tissue scanner was a keystone of this approach. This tissue scanner has a 3D virtual microscope that allows us to investigate the neuronal structure of a whole mammalian brain in a high resolution. The top-down theory-driven approach is to study what true machine intelligence is and how it can be implemented. True intelligence cannot be investigated without embracing the theory-driven approach such as self-awareness, embodiment, consciousness, and computational modeling. I have studied the internal dynamics of a neural system to investigate the self-awareness of a machine and model neural signal delay compensation. These two meet in the middle where machine intelligence is implemented for mechanical systems such as mobile robots and autonomous vehicles. I have a strong desire to bridge the bottom-up and top-down approaches that lead me to conduct research focusing on mobile robotics and autonomous vehicles to combine the data-driven and theory-driven approaches.
My main research interest is in the old-fashioned goal of Artificial Intelligence (AI), that of building autonomous agents that can learn to be broadly competent in complex, dynamic, and uncertain environments. The field of reinforcement learning (RL) has focused on this goal and accordingly my deepest contributions are in RL.
A very recent effort combines Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning.
From time to time, I take seriously the challenge of building agents that can interact with other agents and even humans in both artificial and natural environments. This has led to research in:
Over the past few years, I have begun to focus on Healthcare as an application area.