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Language Instructed Reinforcement Learning for Human-AI Coordination

Hengyuan Hu · Dorsa Sadigh

Exhibit Hall 1 #300


One of the fundamental quests of AI is to produce agents that coordinate well with humans. This problem is challenging, especially in domains that lack high quality human behavioral data, because multi-agent reinforcement learning (RL) often converges to different equilibria from the ones that humans prefer. We propose a novel framework, instructRL, that enables humans to specify what kind of strategies they expect from their AI partners through natural language instructions. We use pretrained large language models to generate a prior policy conditioned on the human instruction and use the prior to regularize the RL objective. This leads to the RL agent converging to equilibria that are aligned with human preferences. We show that instructRL converges to human-like policies that satisfy the given instructions in a proof-of-concept environment as well as the challenging Hanabi benchmark. Finally, we show that knowing the language instruction significantly boosts human-AI coordination performance in human evaluations in Hanabi.

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