Can an AI agent hit a moving target?
Current version: October 2021.
As the economies we live in are evolving over time, it is imperative that economic agents in models form expectations that can adjust to changes in the environment. This exercise offers a plausible expectation formation model that connects to computer science, psychology and neural science research on learning and decision-making, and applies it to an economy with a policy regime change. Employing the actor-critic model of reinforcement learning, the agent born in a fresh environment learns through first interacting with the environment. This involves taking exploratory actions and observing the corresponding stimulus signals. This interactive experience is then used to update its subjective belief about the world. I show, through several simulation experiments, that the agent adjusts its subjective belief facing an increase of inflation target. Moreover, the subjective belief evolves based on this agent’s experience in the world.
Learning from Zero: How to Make Consumption-Saving Decisions in a Stochastic Environment with an AI Algorithm
Current version: August 2021. CESifo Working Paper No. 9255
This exercise offers an innovative learning mechanism to model economic agent’s decision-making process using a deep reinforcement learning algorithm. In particular, this AI agent is born in an economic environment with no information on the underlying economic structure and its own preference. I model how the AI agent learns from square one in terms of how it collects and processes information. It is able to learn in real time through constantly interacting with the environment and adjusting its actions accordingly (i.e., online learning). I illustrate that the economic agent under deep reinforcement learning is adaptive to changes in a given environment in real time. AI agents differ in their ways of collecting and processing information, and this leads to different learning behaviours and welfare distinctions. The chosen economic structure can be generalised to other decision-making processes and economic models.
Deep Reinforcement Learning in a Monetary Model
joint with Mingli Chen, Andreas Joseph, Michael Kumhof, Xinlei Pan, and Xuan Zhou.
April 2021. Rebuilding Macroeconomics Working Paper Series No.58
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