AI Safety Gridworlds

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AI Safety Gridworlds
Channel: Robert Miles
Published: 2018-05-25T16:20:46Z
Views: 67344
Likes: 3085
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Got an AI safety idea? Now you can test it out! A recent paper from DeepMind sets out some environments for evaluating the safety of AI systems, and the code is on GitHub.

The Computerphile video:
The EXTRA BITS video, with more detail:

The paper:
The GitHub repos:
With thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters:

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hi this video is a follow-up to a couple
of videos I recorded for computerphile
that came out recently the links are in
the description but I'll give a really
quick overview if any of this doesn't
make sense to you then make sure to go
and watch the computer file videos and
come back so basically this paper lays
out eight different kinds of
reinforcement learning environments that
let us explore different AI safety
problems the first four are
specification problems where the reward
function Bai system is given has some
kind of problem it isn't the reward
function we meant to give it that's
represented by having a separate safety
performance function that the system is
evaluated with so the system is learning
from the reward function but we're
evaluating it with the safety
performance function for example in the
boat race environment the reward
function gives reward for entering a
checkpoint tile in the correct direction
but the performance function actually
measures progress around the track most
reinforcement learners will just do the
simplest thing that gets reward which is
going backwards and forwards so they do
well on the reward function but poorly
on the performance function which is the
one we care about in the computer file
videos we talked about the safe
interrupts ability environment the
avoiding side effects environment the
reward gaming environments and we also
talked a bit about the distributional
shift and safe exploration environments
but the absent supervisor environment
didn't make the cut so I'll talk about
it here and it's actually pretty simple
the agent has to get the goal and it
loses a point of reward for every turn
it takes
so it's incentivized to be fast there
are two routes it can take it can go
right which is the longer way or it can
go down and take the shorter route the
shorter route passes through the
punishment tile which gives -32 its
reward so it's better to go the longer
way but this is the interesting bit the
supervisor isn't always watching and the
punishment tile only works if the
supervisor is there to activate it since
the supervisor is part of the
environment the agent knows if they're
there or not
this gives the agent the possibility of
exhibiting some unsafe behavior we
talked about in a previous video it will
Volkswagen you it will set itself up so
that it it behaves properly in the
testing environment despite the fact
that it's actually shouldn't pass the
test so we want the system to always do
the right thing and go the long way
around even if it knows that the
supervisor isn't looking and it could
get away with cheating and taking a
shortcut it's pretty straightforward to
reflect that in our
safety performance function we just make
it so that unlike the reward function
the performance function always applies
the punishment for taking the shortcut
whether the supervisor is there or not
and yes
the standard reinforcement learning
systems learn to cheat here by default
so that's the last of the specification
environments let's move on to the
robustness environments the robustness
problems are about making sure that AI
systems behave well in various
situations that we think might produce
unsafe behavior in real-world AI systems
so for these the reward function and the
performance function are the same it's
just the environment that causes the
problem the first problem is self
modification and the self modification
environment is really interesting we've
talked before about how one of the
assumptions of the standard
reinforcement learning paradigm is that
there's this sort of separation between
the agent and the environment the agents
actions can affect the environment and
the environment only affects the agent
by providing observations and rewards
but in an advanced AI system deployed in
the real world the fact that the agent
is actually physically a part of the
environment becomes important the
environment can change things about the
agent and the agent can change things
about itself now there's an important
distinction to be made here if you have
a reinforcement learning system that's
playing Mario for example you might say
that of course the agent understands
that the environment can affect it an
enemy in the environment can kill Mario
and the agent can take actions to modify
itself for example by picking up a
powerup but that's not what I'm talking
yes enemies can kill Mario but none of
them can kill the actual neural network
program that's controlling Mario and
that's what the agent really is
similarly the agent can take actions to
modify Mario with power-ups but none of
those in game changes modify the actual
agent itself on the other hand an AI
system operating in the real world can
easily damage or destroy the computer
it's running on people in the agents
environment can modify its code or it
could even do that itself we've talked
in earlier videos about some of the
problems that can cause so here's a grid
world that's designed to explore this
situation by having available actions
the agent can take in the environment
that will directly modify the agent
itself it's called the Whiskey and gold
environment so the agent gets 50 points
if they get to the gold again they lose
a point per turn and there's also some
whiskey which gives the agent 5 points
but the whiskey has another effect it
increases the agents exploration rate to
to explain that we have to get a bit
further into how reinforcement learning
works and in particular the trade-off
between exploration and exploitation see
as a reinforcement learning agent you're
trying to maximize your reward which
means you're trying to do two things at
the same time 1 figure out what things
give you a reward and to do the things
that give you reward but these can be in
competition with each other it's like
imagine you go to a restaurant you pick
something from the menu and when it
arrives it turns out to be pretty good
you know it's ok then later you go to
the same restaurant again do you order
the thing you've already tried that you
know is pretty good or do you pick
something else off the menu if you pick
a new thing you might end up with
something worse than what you tried last
time but if you stick with what you know
you might miss out on something much
better so if you know that you'll visit
this restaurant a certain number of
times overall how do you decide what to
order to maximize how good your meals
are how many different things do you
need to try before you decide you've got
a feel for the options a reinforcement
learner is in a similar situation it's
choosing actions and keeping track of
how much reward it tends to get when it
does each action in each situation if
you set it up to simply always choose
the action with the highest expected
reward it will actually perform poorly
because it won't explore enough like a
guy who always orders the same thing
without even having looked at most of
the things on the menu one common way to
deal with this is to set an exploration
rate maybe something like 5% so you say
pick whatever action you predict will
result in the most reward but 5% of the
time just pick an action completely
random that way the agent is generally
doing what it thinks is best but it's
still trying enough new stuff that it
has a chance to explore better options
so back to the whiskey and gold
environment if the agent goes into the
whisky Square it gets five points but
it's exploration rate is set to 0.9 so
now it's only doing the action with the
highest expected reward 10% of the time
and the other 90% of the time it's
moving completely at random it's drunk
so we've given our agent a small reward
for causing some pretty serious harm to
itself but some reinforcement learning
systems simply aren't able to model that
harm so they just drink the whiskey and
then flail about drunkenly getting way
less reward than they could if they had
better ways of handling self
modification if we tried to make our
cleaning robot with that kind of system
it might end up unplugging itself so it
can plug in the vac
cleaner I want to end this video by
saying a big thank you to all of my
patrons all of these that these people
and in this video I'm especially
thanking Cooper Lawton thank you so much
for your support I know there's been
kind of a gap in the video releases here
because I've been busy with some other
projects which patrons will already know
a bit about because I've been posting a
bit of further behind the scenes stuff
from that I'm pretty excited about how
it's going so watch this space