Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free add-on: code for papers everywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

Authors:Zachary Kenton, Noah Y. Siegel, János Kramár, Jonah Brown-Cohen, Samuel Albanie, Jannis Bulian, Rishabh Agarwal, David Lindner, Yunhao Tang, Noah D. Goodman(+1 more)

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Scalable oversight protocols aim to enable humans to accurately supervise superhuman AI. In this paper we study debate, where two AI's compete to convince a judge; consultancy, where a single AI tries to convince a judge that asks questions; and compare to a baseline of direct question-answering, where the judge just answers outright without the AI. We use large language models (LLMs) as both AI agents and as stand-ins for human judges, taking the judge models to be weaker than agent models. We benchmark on a diverse range of asymmetries between judges and agents, extending previous work on a single extractive QA task with information asymmetry, to also include mathematics, coding, logic and multimodal reasoning asymmetries. We find that debate outperforms consultancy across all tasks when the consultant is randomly assigned to argue for the correct/incorrect answer. Comparing debate to direct question answering, the results depend on the type of task: in extractive QA tasks with information asymmetry debate outperforms direct question answering, but in other tasks without information asymmetry the results are mixed. Previous work assigned debaters/consultants an answer to argue for. When we allow them to instead choose which answer to argue for, we find judges are less frequently convinced by the wrong answer in debate than in consultancy. Further, we find that stronger debater models increase judge accuracy, though more modestly than in previous studies.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:The emergence of pre-trained AI systems with powerful capabilities across a diverse and ever-increasing set of complex domains has raised a critical challenge for AI safety as tasks can become too complicated for humans to judge directly. Irving et al. [2018] proposed a debate method in this direction with the goal of pitting the power of such AI models against each other until the problem of identifying (mis)-alignment is broken down into a manageable subtask. While the promise of this approach is clear, the original framework was based on the assumption that the honest strategy is able to simulate deterministic AI systems for an exponential number of steps, limiting its applicability. In this paper, we show how to address these challenges by designing a new set of debate protocols where the honest strategy can always succeed using a simulation of a polynomial number of steps, whilst being able to verify the alignment of stochastic AI systems, even when the dishonest strategy is allowed to use exponentially many simulation steps.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:With LLMs shifting their role from statistical modeling of language to serving as general-purpose AI agents, how should LLM evaluations change? Arguably, a key ability of an AI agent is to flexibly combine, as needed, the basic skills it has learned. The capability to combine skills plays an important role in (human) pedagogy and also in a paper on emergence phenomena (Arora & Goyal, 2023). This work introduces Skill-Mix, a new evaluation to measure ability to combine skills. Using a list of $N$ skills the evaluator repeatedly picks random subsets of $k$ skills and asks the LLM to produce text combining that subset of skills. Since the number of subsets grows like $N^k$, for even modest $k$ this evaluation will, with high probability, require the LLM to produce text significantly different from any text in the training set. The paper develops a methodology for (a) designing and administering such an evaluation, and (b) automatic grading (plus spot-checking by humans) of the results using GPT-4 as well as the open LLaMA-2 70B model. Administering a version of to popular chatbots gave results that, while generally in line with prior expectations, contained surprises. Sizeable differences exist among model capabilities that are not captured by their ranking on popular LLM leaderboards ("cramming for the leaderboard"). Furthermore, simple probability calculations indicate that GPT-4's reasonable performance on $k=5$ is suggestive of going beyond "stochastic parrot" behavior (Bender et al., 2021), i.e., it combines skills in ways that it had not seen during training. We sketch how the methodology can lead to a Skill-Mix based eco-system of open evaluations for AI capabilities of future models.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Learning in MDPs with highly complex state representations is currently possible due to multiple advancements in reinforcement learning algorithm design. However, this incline in complexity, and furthermore the increase in the dimensions of the observation came at the cost of volatility that can be taken advantage of via adversarial attacks (i.e. moving along worst-case directions in the observation space). To solve this policy instability problem we propose a novel method to detect the presence of these non-robust directions via local quadratic approximation of the deep neural policy loss. Our method provides a theoretical basis for the fundamental cut-off between safe observations and adversarial observations. Furthermore, our technique is computationally efficient, and does not depend on the methods used to produce the worst-case directions. We conduct extensive experiments in the Arcade Learning Environment with several different adversarial attack techniques. Most significantly, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach even in the setting where non-robust directions are explicitly optimized to circumvent our proposed method.

Via

Authors:Jonah Brown-Cohen

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:The study of statistical estimation without distributional assumptions on data values, but with knowledge of data collection methods was recently introduced by Chen, Valiant and Valiant (NeurIPS 2020). In this framework, the goal is to design estimators that minimize the worst-case expected error. Here the expectation is over a known, randomized data collection process from some population, and the data values corresponding to each element of the population are assumed to be worst-case. Chen, Valiant and Valiant show that, when data values are $\ell_{\infty}$-normalized, there is a polynomial time algorithm to compute an estimator for the mean with worst-case expected error that is within a factor $\frac{\pi}{2}$ of the optimum within the natural class of semilinear estimators. However, their algorithm is based on optimizing a somewhat complex concave objective function over a constrained set of positive semidefinite matrices, and thus does not come with explicit runtime guarantees beyond being polynomial time in the input. In this paper we design provably efficient algorithms for approximating the optimal semilinear estimator based on online convex optimization. In the setting where data values are $\ell_{\infty}$-normalized, our algorithm achieves a $\frac{\pi}{2}$-approximation by iteratively solving a sequence of standard SDPs. When data values are $\ell_2$-normalized, our algorithm iteratively computes the top eigenvector of a sequence of matrices, and does not lose any multiplicative approximation factor. We complement these positive results by stating a simple combinatorial condition which, if satisfied by a data collection process, implies that any (not necessarily semilinear) estimator for the mean has constant worst-case expected error.

Via