Teaching to Learn: Sequential Teaching of Learners with Internal States


  • Mustafa Mert Çelikok Aalto University
  • Pierre-Alexandre Murena Aalto University
  • Samuel Kaski Aalto University The University of Manchester




HAI: Human-Machine Teams, HAI: Human-in-the-Loop Machine Learning, ML: Probabilistic Methods, MAS: Modeling Other Agents, MAS: Multiagent Learning, PRS: Planning With Markov Models (MDPs, POMDPs)


In sequential machine teaching, a teacher’s objective is to provide the optimal sequence of inputs to sequential learners in order to guide them towards the best model. However, this teaching objective considers a restricted class of learners with fixed inductive biases. In this paper, we extend the machine teaching framework to learners that can improve their inductive biases, represented as latent internal states, in order to generalize to new datasets. We introduce a novel framework in which learners’ inductive biases may change with the teaching interaction, which affects the learning performance in future tasks. In order to teach such learners, we propose a multi-objective control approach that takes the future performance of the learner after teaching into account. This framework provides tools for modelling learners with internal states, humans and meta-learning algorithms alike. Furthermore, we distinguish manipulative teaching, which can be done by effectively hiding data and also used for indoctrination, from teaching to learn which aims to help the learner become better at learning from new datasets in the absence of a teacher. Our empirical results demonstrate that our framework is able to reduce the number of required tasks for online meta-learning, and increases independent learning performance of simulated human users in future tasks.




How to Cite

Çelikok, M. M., Murena, P.-A., & Kaski, S. (2023). Teaching to Learn: Sequential Teaching of Learners with Internal States. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 37(5), 5939-5947. https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v37i5.25735



AAAI Technical Track on Humans and AI