Multi-Agent Cooperation and the Emergence of (Natural) Language

International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) 2017


The current mainstream approach to train natural language systems is to expose them to large amounts of text. This passive learning is problematic if we are interested in developing interactive machines, such as conversational agents. We propose a framework for language learning that relies on multi-agent communication. We study this learning in the context of referential games. In these games, a sender and a receiver see a pair of images. The sender is told one of them is the target and is allowed to send a message from a fixed, arbitrary vocabulary to the receiver. The receiver must rely on this message to identify the target. Thus, the agents develop their own language interactively out of the need to communicate. We show that two networks with simple configurations are able to learn to coordinate in the referential game. We further explore how to make changes to the game environment to cause the “word meanings” induced in the game to better reflect intuitive semantic properties of the images. In addition, we present a simple strategy for grounding the agents’ code into natural language. Both of these are necessary steps towards developing machines that are able to communicate with humans productively.

Related Publications

All Publications

A hierarchical loss and its problems when classifying non-hierarchically

Cinna Wu, Mark Tygert, Yann LeCun

PLOS ONE - December 3, 2019

Neural Supersampling for Real-time Rendering

Lei Xiao, Salah Nouri, Matt Chapman, Alexander Fix, Douglas Lanman, Anton Kaplanyan

ACM SIGGRAPH - August 17, 2020

CamemBERT: a Tasty French Language Model

Louis Martin, Benjamin Muller, Pedro Javier Ortiz Suárez, Yoann Dupont, Laurent Romary, Éric Villemonte de la Clergerie, Djamé Seddah, Benoît Sagot

ACL - June 21, 2020

Don’t Say That! Making Inconsistent Dialogue Unlikely with Unlikelihood Training

Margaret Li, Stephen Roller, Ilia Kulikov, Sean Welleck, Y-Lan Boureau, Kyunghyun Cho, Jason Weston

ACL - June 22, 2020

To help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. By clicking or navigating the site, you agree to allow our collection of information on and off Facebook through cookies. Learn more, including about available controls: Cookies Policy