Incorporating Failure Events in Agents’ Decision Making to Improve User Satisfaction
Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Main track. Pages 1556-1562. https://doi.org/10.24963/ijcai.2020/216
This paper suggests a new paradigm for the design of collaborative autonomous agents engaged in executing a joint task alongside a human user. In particular, we focus on the way an agent's failures should affect its decision making, as far as user satisfaction measures are concerned. Unlike the common practice that considers agent (and more broadly, system) failures solely in the prism of their influence over the agent's contribution to the execution of the joint task, we argue that there is an additional, direct, influence which cannot be fully captured by the above measure. Through two series of large-scale controlled experiments with 450 human subjects, recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, we show that, indeed, such direct influence holds. Furthermore, we show that the use of a simple agent design that takes into account the direct influence of failures in its decision making yields considerably better user satisfaction, compared to an agent that focuses exclusively on maximizing its absolute contribution to the joint task.
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