Improving alignment of dialogue agents via targeted human judgements


Amelia Glaese, Nat McAleese, Maja Trębacz, John Aslanides, Vlad Firoiu, Timo Ewalds, Maribeth Rauh, Laura Weidinger, Martin Chadwick, Phoebe Thacker, Lucy Campbell-Gillingham, Jonathan Uesato, Po-Sen Huang, Ramona Comanescu, Fan Yang, Abigail See, Sumanth Dathathri, Rory Greig, Charlie Chen, Doug Fritz, Jaume Sanchez Elias, Richard Green, Soňa Mokrá, Nicholas Fernando, Boxi Wu, Rachel Foley, Susannah Young, Iason Gabriel, William Isaac, John Mellor, Demis Hassabis, Koray Kavukcuoglu, Lisa Anne Hendricks, Geoffrey Irving

publication date



arXiv preprint arXiv:2209.14375


We present Sparrow, an information-seeking dialogue agent trained to be more helpful, correct, and harmless compared to prompted language model baselines. We use reinforcement learning from human feedback to train our models with two new additions to help human raters judge agent behaviour.

First, to make our agent more helpful and harmless, we break down the requirements for good dialogue into natural language rules the agent should follow, and ask raters about each rule separately. We demonstrate that this breakdown enables us to collect more targeted human judgements of agent behaviour and allows for more efficient rule-conditional reward models.

Second, our agent provides evidence from sources supporting factual claims when collecting preference judgements over model statements. For factual questions, evidence provided by Sparrow supports the sampled response 78% of the time. Sparrow is preferred more often than baselines while being more resilient to adversarial probing by humans, violating our rules only 8% of the time when probed.

Finally, we conduct extensive analyses showing that though our model learns to follow our rules it can exhibit distributional biases.

Blog Page