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Improving Human Decision-Making with Machine Learning
Hamsa Bastani · Osbert Bastani · Park Sinchaisri

A key aspect of human intelligence is their ability to convey their knowledge to others in succinct forms. However, current machine learning models are largely blackboxes that are hard for humans to learn from. Focusing on sequential decision-making, we design a novel machine learning algorithm that is capable of conveying its insights to humans in the form of interpretable "tips''. Our algorithm selects the tip that best bridges the gap between the actions taken by the human users and those taken by the optimal policy in a way that accounts for which actions are consequential for achieving higher performance. We evaluate our approach through a series of randomized controlled user studies where participants manage a virtual kitchen. Our experiments show that the tips generated by our algorithm can significantly improve human performance. In addition, we discuss a number of empirical insights that can help inform the design of algorithms intended for human-AI collaboration. For instance, we find evidence that participants do not simply blindly follow our tips; instead, they combine them with their own experience to discover additional strategies for improving performance.

Author Information

Hamsa Bastani (Wharton)
Osbert Bastani (University of Pennsylvania)
Park Sinchaisri (Wharton/Berkeley)

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