The Concept of Criticality in AI Safety

Yitzhak Spielberg, Amos Azaria

When AI agents don't align their actions with human values they may cause serious harm. One way to solve the value alignment problem is by including a human operator who monitors all of the agent's actions. Despite the fact, that this solution guarantees maximal safety, it is very inefficient, since it requires the human operator to dedicate all of his attention to the agent. In this paper, we propose a much more efficient solution that allows an operator to be engaged in other activities without neglecting his monitoring task. In our approach the AI agent requests permission from the operator only for critical actions, that is, potentially harmful actions. We introduce the concept of critical actions with respect to AI safety and discuss how to build a model that measures action criticality. We also discuss how the operator's feedback could be used to make the agent smarter.

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