Learning to Teach

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In modern human society, the role of teaching is heavily implicated in our education system, the goal being to equip students with necessary knowledge and skills in an efficient manner. This is the fundamental student and teacher framework on which education stands. However, in the field of artificial intelligence and specifically machine learning, researchers have focused most of their efforts on the student ie. designing various optimization algorithms to enhance the learning ability of intelligent agents. The paper argues that a formal study on the role of ‘teaching’ in AI is required. Analogous to teaching in human society, the teaching framework can select training data which corresponds to choosing the right teaching materials (e.g. textbooks); designing the loss functions corresponding to setting up targeted examinations; defining the hypothesis space corresponds to imparting the proper methodologies. Furthermore, an optimization framework (instead of heuristics) should be used to update the teaching skills based on the feedback from students, so as to achieve teacher-student co-evolution.

This paper proposed the "learning to teach" (L2T) framework with two intelligent agents: a student model/agent, corresponding to the learner in traditional machine learning algorithms, and a teacher model/agent, determining the appropriate data, loss function, and hypothesis space to facilitate the learning of the student model.

Related Work

The L2T framework connects with two trends in machine learning.