Recent work has shown the potential benefit of selective prediction systems that can learn to defer to a human when the predictions of the AI are unreliable, particularly to improve the reliability of AI systems in high-stakes applications like healthcare or conservation. However, most prior work assumes that human behavior remains unchanged when they solve a prediction task as part of a human-AI team as opposed to by themselves. We show that this is not the case by performing experiments to quantify human-AI interaction in the context of selective prediction. In particular, we study the impact of communicating different types of information to humans about the AI system’s decision to defer. Using real-world conservation data and a selective prediction system that improves expected accuracy over that of the human or AI system working individually, we show that this messaging has a significant impact on the accuracy of human judgements. Our results study two components of the messaging strategy: 1) Whether humans are informed about the prediction of the AI system and 2) Whether they are informed about the decision of the selective prediction system to defer. By manipulating these messaging components, we show that it is possible to significantly boost human performance by informing the human of the decision to defer, but not revealing the prediction of the AI. We therefore show that it is vital to consider how the decision to defer is communicated to a human when designing selective prediction systems, and that the composite accuracy of a human-AI team must be carefully evaluated using a human-in-the-loop framework.
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