Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track
Kunal Pratap Singh, Luca Weihs, Alvaro Herrasti, Jonghyun Choi, Aniruddha Kembhavi, Roozbeh Mottaghi
Embodied AI agents continue to become more capable every year with the advent of new models, environments, and benchmarks, but are still far away from being performant and reliable enough to be deployed in real, user-facing, applications. In this paper, we ask: can we bridge this gap by enabling agents to ask for assistance from an expert such as a human being? To this end, we propose the Ask4Help policy that augments agents with the ability to request, and then use expert assistance. Ask4Help policies can be efficiently trained without modifying the original agent's parameters and learn a desirable trade-off between task performance and the amount of requested help, thereby reducing the cost of querying the expert. We evaluate Ask4Help on two different tasks -- object goal navigation and room rearrangement and see substantial improvements in performance using minimal help. On object navigation, an agent that achieves a $52\%$ success rate is raised to $86\%$ with $13\%$ help and for rearrangement, the state-of-the-art model with a $7\%$ success rate is dramatically improved to $90.4\%$ using $39\%$ help. Human trials with Ask4Help demonstrate the efficacy of our approach in practical scenarios.