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Xi Chen

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    Preview abstract We explore the boundaries of scaling up a multilingual vision and language model, both in terms of size of the components and the breadth of its training task mixture. Our model achieves new levels of performance on a wide-range of varied and complex tasks, including multiple image-based captioning and question-answering tasks, image-based document understanding and few-shot (in-context) learning, as well as object detection, video question answering, and video captioning. Our model advances the state-of-the-art on most vision-and-language benchmarks considered (20+ of them). Finally, we observe emerging capabilities, such as complex counting and multilingual object detection, tasks that are not explicitly in the training mix. View details
    Preview abstract Effective scaling and a flexible task interface enable large-capacity language models to excel at many tasks. PaLI (Pathways Language and Image model) extends these ideas to the joint modeling of language and vision. PaLI is a model that generates text based on visual and textual inputs. Using this API, PaLI is able to perform many vision, language, and multimodal tasks, across many languages. We train PaLI with two main principles: reuse of pretrained unimodal components, and joint scaling of modalities. Using large-capacity pretrained language models and vision models allows us to capitalize on their existing capabilities, while leveraging the substantial cost of training them. We scale PaLI models across three axes:the language component, the vision component, and the training data that fuses them. For the vision component, we train the largest and best-performing VisionTransformer (ViT) to date. For the data, we build an image-text training set over10B images and covering over 100 languages. PaLI inherits and enhances language-understanding capabilities, and achieves state-of-the-art in multiple vision and language tasks (image classification, image captioning, visual question-answering, scene-text understanding, etc.), based on a simple, modular, and reuse-friendly platform for modeling and scaling. View details
    Preview abstract Visual Question Answering (VQA) has been primarily studied through the lens of the English language. Yet, tackling VQA in other languages in the same manner would require a considerable amount of resources. In this paper, we propose scalable solutions to multilingual visual question answering (mVQA), on both data and modeling fronts. We first propose a translation-based framework to mVQA data generation that requires much less human annotation efforts than the conventional approach of directly collection questions and answers. Then, we apply our framework to the multilingual captions in the Crossmodal-3600 dataset and develop an efficient annotation protocol to create MaXM, a test-only VQA benchmark in 7 diverse languages. Finally, we develop a simple, lightweight, and effective approach as well as benchmark state-of-the-art English and multilingual VQA models. We hope that our benchmark encourages further research on mVQA. View details
    Preview abstract While existing image/text alignment models reach high quality binary assessments, they fall short of pinpointing the exact source of misalignment. In this paper, we present a method to provide detailed textual and visual explanation of detected misalignments between text/image pairs. We leverage large language models to automatically construct a training set that holds plausible misaligned captions for a given image and corresponding textual explanations and visual indicators. We also introduce a new human curated test set comprising ground-truth textual and visual misalignment annotations. Empirical results show that fine-tuning vision language models on our training set enables them to articulate misalignments and visually indicate them within images, outperforming strong baselines both on the binary alignment classification and the explanation generation tasks. View details
    Preview abstract The ability to recognize and reason about text embedded in visual inputs is often lacking in vision-and-language (V&L) models, perhaps because V&L pre-training methods have often failed to include such an ability in their training objective. In this paper, we propose PreSTU, a novel pre-training recipe dedicated to scene-text understanding (STU). PreSTU introduces OCR-aware pre-training objectives that encourage the model to recognize text from an image and connect it to the rest of the image content. We implement PreSTU using a simple transformer-based encoder-decoder architecture, combined with large-scale image-text datasets with scene text obtained from an off-the-shelf OCR system. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of this pre-training approach on eight visual question answering and four image captioning benchmarks. View details
    Preview abstract Research in massively multilingual image captioning has been severely hampered by a lack of high-quality evaluation datasets. In this paper we present the Crossmodal-3600 dataset (XM3600 in short), a geographically-diverse set of 3600 images annotated with human-generated reference captions in 36 languages. The images were selected from across the world, covering regions where the 36 languages are spoken, and annotated with captions that achieve consistency in terms of style across all languages, while avoiding annotation artifacts due to direct translation. We apply this benchmark to model selection for massively multilingual image captioning models, and show strong correlation results with human evaluations when using XM3600 as golden references for automatic metrics. View details
    Preview abstract Language Models have been shown to store massive amounts of world knowledge implicitly in their parameters. However, even with ever-larger networks, models often fail to encode infrequent information such as rare entities/events, while paying the price of massively increasing computational costs. Recently, retrieval-augmented models, such as REALM, RAG, and RETRO, were proposed to incorporate world knowledge into language models by leveraging an external non-parametric index, achieving impressive performance with constrained model sizes. However, these methods are restricted to retrieving only textual knowledge, neglecting the ubiquitous amount of knowledge in other modalities like images - much of which contains information not covered by any text. To address this limitation, we propose the first Multimodal Retrieval-Augmented Transformer (MuRAG), which accesses an external non-parametric multimodal memory to augment language model pre-training. MuRAG is pre-trained with a mixture of large-scale image-text and text-only corpora using a joint contrastive and generative loss. In experiments, we evaluate MuRAG's performance on two downstream datasets that require retrieving and reasoning over both images and text to answer a given query, WebQA, and MultimodalQA. Our results show that MuRAG's outperforms competitive baselines by more than 10\% accuracy - achieving the best-known performance on those tasks. View details
    Preview abstract Visual Question Answering (VQA) has benefited from increasingly sophisticated models, but has not enjoyed the same level of engagement in terms of data creation. In this paper, we propose a method that automatically derives VQA examples at volume, by leveraging the abundance of existing image-caption annotations combined with neural models for textual question generation. We show that the resulting data is of high-quality. VQA models trained on our data improve state-of-the-art zero-shot accuracy by double digits and achieve a level of robustness that lacks in the same model trained on human-annotated VQA data. View details
    Preview abstract Despite recent advances in its theoretical understanding, there still remains a significant gap in the ability of existing meta-learning theorems to explain the performance improvements in the few-shot learning setting, where the number of samples in the target tasks is severely limited. This gap originates from an assumption in the existing theories which supposes that the number of samples in the observed tasks and the number of samples in the target tasks follow the same distribution, an assumption that rarely holds in practice. By relaxing this assumption we develop two PAC-Bayesian bounds tailored for the few-shot learning setting and show that two existing meta-learning algorithms (MAML and Reptile) can be derived from our bounds, thereby bridging the gap between practice and PAC-Bayesian theorems. Furthermore, we derive a new computationally efficient PAC-Bayesian algorithm, and show it outperforms existing meta-learning algorithms on several few-shot benchmark datasets. View details
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