The Role of Artificial Theory of Mind in Supporting Human-Agent Teaming Interactions

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Jessica WilliamsRhyse BendellStephen FioreFlorian Jentsch

Abstract: In this article we discuss the role of Artificial Theory of Mind (AToM) in supporting human-agent teaming interactions. Humans are able to interpret, understand, and predict another’s behavior by leveraging core socio-cognitive processes, generally referred to as Theory of Mind (ToM). A human’s ToM is critical to their ability to successfully interact with others, especially in the context of teaming. Considering the increasing role of AI in team cognition, there is an emerging need for agents capable of such complex socio-cognitive processes. We report findings from a large multi-organization research program, DARPA’s Artificial Social Intelligence Supporting Teams (ASIST), designed to study teamwork with socially intelligent artificial agents serving as team advisors. We focus on agent-to-human communications, including content, intended purpose, and, particularly, the use of AToM attributions in both covert agent explanations as rationale for giving a certain intervention, as well as the use of agents making overt ToM attributions of players in the intervention itself. The findings suggest that agent teammates are able to demonstrate AToM and that that interventions based upon these can influence team outcomes. We discuss the impact of the various types of ASI interventions and their effect on teams, and provide recommendations for future research on human-AI teaming.

Keywords: Artificial Social Intelligence, Artificial Theory of Mind, Human, Agent Teams

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003561

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