According to OpenAI, reinforcement learning is an important aspect of building intelligent systems because it encompasses any problem that involves making a sequence of decisions. For instance, it could focus on controlling a robot's motors so it's able to run and jump, or enabling a system to make business decisions regarding pricing and inventory management.
Two major challenges for developers working with reinforcement learning are the lack of standard environments and the need for better benchmarks.
Musk's group is hoping that the OpenAI Gym addresses both of those issues.
"I think this could be quite helpful for someone developing smart robots and autonomous devices," Moorhead said. "What Musk is enabling is a way for developers to compare their results. With this, developers can gauge how far they have come or how far they have to go. Nothing beats a competitive environment to motivate developers. It's like a monster truck rally for A.I. programmers."
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