Colin is a PhD student of computer science and artificial intelligence at Oregon State University. He researches how to ensure the machines of the future behave ethically with Houssam Abbas. This research uses formal logic to express ethical specifications, machine learning to search through specifications, reinforcement learning to train agents, and formal methods to prove an agent abides by a specification.
Colin's research interests include ethics in artificial intelligence, robustness in machine learning, automated scientific discovery, data mining, and logic.
You can read his CV here.
In the past, Colin has researched the automation of scientific discovery under Dr. Benjamin Jantzen in Virginia Tech's Digital Philosophy Lab. He has worked in industry on projects in security for machine learning, policy and artificial intelligence, cyber-security, and in simulation validation, and data analysis.
Describing, verifying, and discovering ethical obligations in Markov decision processes
Measuring differences in symmetry of system changes
Formal verification of the ethics in automata
Democratizing the specification of ethical constraints for robots
Using deontic logic to model, verify, and ensure system obligations
Analyzing swarm behavior with a general metric for system dynamics similarity
Using automated intelligent systems for remote geological science
Review of logics and problems
Leveraging features of SMT solvers
Reinforcement learning to coordinate robots that increase flow in crowd simulation
Comparing self-attention mechanics to reservoir computing in deep forecasting of chaos
Examining the structure of belief models in a board game
Exploring the associations between topics and colors through clustering algorithms
Optimizing images to force autonomous vehicles to misbehave
Searching for patterns in how we search for causality
Exploring the behavior of chaotic regimes in a stochastic population model
Finding new uses for drugs with machine learning
ETHICS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
I am currently researching techniques to ensure AI acts ethically. I am designing a logic of ethics to specify what an RL agent's obligations are; I am writing code to prove that an agent has a given obligation; I am studying algorithms to explore the space of ethical obligations; and I am creating methods to synthesize control for an agent that respects ethical guidelines or population preferences. This work led to, and is partially supported by Dr. Abbas's NSF CAREER award.
AUTOMATION OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY
I developed a suite of algorithms that determines similarity between dynamical systems by comparing how a system evolves under different conditions. This work led to, and was partially supported by Dr. Jantzen's NSF CAREER award.
Read More Here
ADVERSARIAL MACHINE LEARNING
As a research intern with MITRE, I helped develop a taxonomy and dictionary of adversarial machine learning techniques, included in a draft NIST Interagency Report. I wrote the groundwork documentation for the development of an AML testing lab, and researched existing policy and best practices on AML testing.