Sep 9–12, 2019

Advancing our understanding of deep reinforcement learning with community-driven insights

Danny Lange (Unity Technologies)
11:05am11:45am Thursday, September 12, 2019
Location: 230 B

Who is this presentation for?

  • Business leaders interested in understanding the real-world potential of training AI in simulated environments
  • AI industry professionals interested in hosting AI challenges




Simulated environments have been essential to advancing the field of artificial intelligence, providing vast amounts of synthetic data that tests novel approaches safely and efficiently. This has most often taken the form of games, ranging from simple board games to modern, multiplayer strategy games.

These games served as a good starting point, but Danny Lange reveals an opportunity to push the state of the art in AI research to the next level. United introduced the Obstacle Tower, a high visual fidelity, 3-D, third person, procedurally generated game environment purpose built to test a deep reinforcement learning-trained agent’s vision, control, planning, and generalization abilities. Over the past year, Unity invited researchers and developers to try to solve the tower with the intention of sharing those insights with the broader community.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic knowledge of machine learning and AI

What you'll learn

  • See how you can use what Unity learned from hosting the challenges to engage the broader community to advance AI research
  • Find out how participants fared as they attempted to solve the tower, what that taught Unity, and what's next for Obstacle Tower as it continues pushing advances in deep reinforcement learning
  • Learn how observing emergent behaviors of multiple AI agents in a simulated virtual environment can lead to the most optimal designs and real-world practices
Photo of Danny Lange

Danny Lange

Unity Technologies

Danny Lange is the vice president of AI and machine learning at Unity, where he leads multiple initiatives around applied artificial intelligence. Previously, Danny led the efforts to build a highly scalable machine learning platform to support all parts of Uber’s business from the app to self-driving cars as the head of machine learning, provided internal teams with access to machine intelligence and launched an AWS product that offers machine learning as a cloud service to the public as the general manager of Amazon Machine Learning, led a product team focused on large-scale machine learning for big data as principal development manager at Microsoft, was CTO of General Magic, Inc., worked on General Motor’s OnStar Virtual Advisor—one of the largest deployments of an intelligent personal assistant until Siri—as the founder of his own company Vocomo Software, and was a computer scientist at IBM Research. He’s a member of ACM and IEEE Computer Society and has numerous patents to his credit. Danny holds an MS and PhD in computer science from the Technical University of Denmark.

Leave a Comment or Question

Help us make this conference the best it can be for you. Have questions you'd like this speaker to address? Suggestions for issues that deserve extra attention? Feedback that you'd like to share with the speaker and other attendees?

Join the conversation here (requires login)

Contact us

For conference registration information and customer service

For more information on community discounts and trade opportunities with O’Reilly conferences

Become a sponsor

For information on exhibiting or sponsoring a conference

Contact list

View a complete list of O'Reilly AI contacts