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On the Utility of Learning about Humans for Human-AI Coordination
Micah Carroll · Rohin Shah · Mark Ho · Tom Griffiths · Sanjit Seshia · Pieter Abbeel · Anca Dragan

Tue Dec 10 05:30 PM -- 07:30 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #199

While we would like agents that can coordinate with humans, current algorithms such as self-play and population-based training create agents that can coordinate with themselves. Agents that assume their partner to be optimal or similar to them can converge to coordination protocols that fail to understand and be understood by humans. To demonstrate this, we introduce a simple environment that requires challenging coordination, based on the popular game Overcooked, and learn a simple model that mimics human play. We evaluate the performance of agents trained via self-play and population-based training. These agents perform very well when paired with themselves, but when paired with our human model, they are significantly worse than agents designed to play with the human model. An experiment with a planning algorithm yields the same conclusion, though only when the human-aware planner is given the exact human model that it is playing with. A user study with real humans shows this pattern as well, though less strongly. Qualitatively, we find that the gains come from having the agent adapt to the human's gameplay. Given this result, we suggest several approaches for designing agents that learn about humans in order to better coordinate with them. Code is available at https://github.com/HumanCompatibleAI/overcooked_ai.

Author Information

Micah Carroll (UC Berkeley)
Rohin Shah (UC Berkeley)
Mark Ho (Princeton University)
Tom Griffiths (Princeton University)
Sanjit Seshia (UC Berkeley)
Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley & covariant.ai)

Pieter Abbeel is Professor and Director of the Robot Learning Lab at UC Berkeley [2008- ], Co-Director of the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Lab, Co-Founder of covariant.ai [2017- ], Co-Founder of Gradescope [2014- ], Advisor to OpenAI, Founding Faculty Partner AI@TheHouse venture fund, Advisor to many AI/Robotics start-ups. He works in machine learning and robotics. In particular his research focuses on making robots learn from people (apprenticeship learning), how to make robots learn through their own trial and error (reinforcement learning), and how to speed up skill acquisition through learning-to-learn (meta-learning). His robots have learned advanced helicopter aerobatics, knot-tying, basic assembly, organizing laundry, locomotion, and vision-based robotic manipulation. He has won numerous awards, including best paper awards at ICML, NIPS and ICRA, early career awards from NSF, Darpa, ONR, AFOSR, Sloan, TR35, IEEE, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Pieter's work is frequently featured in the popular press, including New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Wired, Forbes, Tech Review, NPR.

Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley)

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