Planning for Proactive Assistance in Environments with Partial ObservabilityDownload PDF

Published: 19 Jul 2021, Last Modified: 05 May 2023XAIP 2021Readers: Everyone
Keywords: proactive assistance, controlling observability, legibility, obfuscation
TL;DR: An approach for synthesizing proactive assistive behavior, where the AI agent ensures that the human, despite her partial observability of the agent's activities, can recognize the potential decrease in her cost due to the provided assistance.
Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of synthesizing the behavior of an AI agent that provides proactive task assistance to a human in settings like factory floors where they may coexist in a common environment. Unlike in the case of requested assistance, the human may not be expecting proactive assistance and hence it is crucial for the agent to ensure that the human is aware of how the assistance affects her task. This becomes harder when there is a possibility that the human may neither have full knowledge of the AI agent's capabilities nor have full observability of its activities. Therefore, our \textit{proactive assistant} is guided by the following three principles: \textbf{(1)} its activity decreases the human's cost towards her goal; \textbf{(2)} the human is able to recognize the potential reduction in her cost; \textbf{(3)} its activity optimizes the human's overall cost (time/resources) of achieving her goal. Through empirical evaluation and user studies, we demonstrate the usefulness of our approach.
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