Key Concepts in AI Safety: Robustness and Adversarial Examples

Tim G. J. Rudner

Helen Toner

March 2021

This paper is the second installment in a series on “AI safety,” an area of machine learning research that aims to identify causes of unintended behavior in machine learning systems and develop tools to ensure these systems work safely and reliably. The first paper in the series, “Key Concepts in AI Safety: An Overview,” described three categories of AI safety issues: problems of robustness, assurance, and specification. This paper introduces adversarial examples, a major challenge to robustness in modern machine learning systems.

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