HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of Euro-Global Conference on Biotechnology and Bioengineering

June 14-15 | Hybrid Event

June 14-15, 2023 | Rome, Italy
ECBB 2022

Towards Automated Decision-Making Through Reinforcement Learning

Borja G Leon, Speaker at Biotechnology Conferences
Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Title: Towards Automated Decision-Making Through Reinforcement Learning


Artificial intelligence (AI) holds considerable promise to tackle challenging decision-making problems such as automated health testing and drug discovery. Among the different AI paradigms, reinforcement learning (RL), a technique that concerns autonomous agents interacting with their environment in the hope to maximise the expectation of a reward signal, has achieved considerable milestones in real-world problems, leading to multiple state-of-the-art solutions. Yet, modelling problems in a fashion where RL is applicable may be non-trivial and require of careful thinking, e.g., if we are building an agent that learns to detect Alzheimer from brain scans, how do we design the problem so that this agent can “take actions” on the given images? and how do we reward such actions so that the agent learns to tell whether there is Alzheimer? Moreover, different families of RL algorithms hold diverse strengths and biases, meaning that evaluating which kind of algorithms is best suited for our problem may be key to success. We will go through all these aspects within RL and continue by providing evidence of how brittle RL solutions can be if we do not take the necessary steps towards robustness and generalisation. Last, for those interested in basic research, we will see some comparisons between RL agents and animal cognition and will review basic tools to test RL solutions before bringing them to costly real-world environments


Borja is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. His research focuses on finding new artificial neural network architectures that enable situated agents to fulfil complex human instructions in unseen scenarios. He is also an external thesis advisor at Valencian International University (VIU) on the topic of deep reinforcement learning. Previously, he worked on various applied research projects including autonomous driving and satellite imagery. His contributions to the field of artificial intelligence have motivated his inclusion in the 35 under 35 2021 List of Future Leaders by Santander–CIDOB.