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Maria Attarian

Maria Attarian

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    Preview abstract Large pretrained (e.g., "foundation") models exhibit distinct capabilities depending on the domain of data they are trained on. While these domains are generic, they may only barely overlap. For example, visual-language models (VLMs) are trained on Internet-scale image captions, but large language models (LMs) are further trained on Internet-scale text with no images (e.g., spreadsheets, SAT questions, code). As a result, these models store different forms of commonsense knowledge across different domains. In this work, we show that this diversity is symbiotic, and can be leveraged through Socratic Models (SMs): a modular framework in which multiple pretrained models may be composed zero-shot i.e., via multimodal-informed prompting, to exchange information with each other and capture new multimodal capabilities, without requiring finetuning. With minimal engineering, SMs are not only competitive with state-of-the-art zero-shot image captioning and video-to-text retrieval, but also enable new applications such as (i) answering free-form questions about egocentric video, (ii) engaging in multimodal assistive dialogue with people (e.g., for cooking recipes) by interfacing with external APIs and databases (e.g., web search), and (iii) robot perception and planning. Prototypes are available at socraticmodels.github.io View details
    Transporter Networks: Rearranging the Visual World for Robotic Manipulation
    Andy Zeng
    Pete Florence
    Stefan Welker
    Jonathan Chien
    Travis Armstrong
    Ivan Krasin
    Dan Duong
    Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL) (2020)
    Preview abstract Robotic manipulation can be formulated as inducing a sequence of spatial displacements: where the space being moved can encompass object(s) or an end effector. In this work, we propose the Transporter Network, a simple model architecture that rearranges deep features to infer spatial displacements from visual input -- which can parameterize robot actions. It makes no assumptions of objectness (e.g. canonical poses, models, or keypoints), it exploits spatial symmetries, and is orders of magnitude more sample efficient than our benchmarked alternatives in learning vision-based manipulation tasks: from stacking a pyramid of blocks, to assembling kits with unseen objects; from manipulating deformable ropes, to pushing piles of small objects with closed-loop feedback. Our method can represent complex multi-modal policy distributions and generalizes to multi-step sequential tasks, as well as 6DoF pick-and-place. Experiments on 10 simulated tasks show that it learns faster and generalizes better than a variety of end-to-end baselines, including policies that use ground-truth object poses. We validate our methods with hardware in the real world. View details
    Transforming neural network visual representations to predict human judgments of similarity
    Brett D Roads
    Michael C. Mozer
    NeurIPS Workshop on Shared Visual Representations between Humans and Machines (2020), pp. 1-6
    Preview abstract Deep-learning vision models have shown intriguing similarities and differences with respect to human vision. We investigate how to bring machine visual representations into better alignment with human representations. Human representations are often inferred from behavioral evidence such as the selection of an image most similar to a query image. We find that with appropriate linear transformations of deep embeddings, we can improve prediction of human binary choice on a data set of bird images from 72% at baseline to 89%. We hypothesized that deep embeddings have redundant, high (4096) dimensional representations; however, reducing the rank of these representations results in a loss of explanatory power. We hypothesized that the dilation transformation of representations explored in past research is too restrictive, and indeed we found that model explanatory power can be significantly improved with a more expressive linear transform. Most surprising and exciting, we found that, consistent with classic psychological literature, human similarity judgments are asymmetric: the similarity of X to Y is not necessarily equal to the similarity of Y to X, and allowing models to express this asymmetry improves explanatory power. View details
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