Collaborating Authors

Vokenization: Improving Language Understanding with Contextualized, Visual-Grounded Supervision Artificial Intelligence

Humans learn language by listening, speaking, writing, reading, and also, via interaction with the multimodal real world. Existing language pre-training frameworks show the effectiveness of text-only self-supervision while we explore the idea of a visually-supervised language model in this paper. We find that the main reason hindering this exploration is the large divergence in magnitude and distributions between the visually-grounded language datasets and pure-language corpora. Therefore, we develop a technique named "vokenization" that extrapolates multimodal alignments to language-only data by contextually mapping language tokens to their related images (which we call "vokens"). The "vokenizer" is trained on relatively small image captioning datasets and we then apply it to generate vokens for large language corpora. Trained with these contextually generated vokens, our visually-supervised language models show consistent improvements over self-supervised alternatives on multiple pure-language tasks such as GLUE, SQuAD, and SWAG. Code and pre-trained models publicly available at

Compressing Visual-linguistic Model via Knowledge Distillation Artificial Intelligence

Despite exciting progress in pre-training for visual-linguistic (VL) representations, very few aspire to a small VL model. In this paper, we study knowledge distillation (KD) to effectively compress a transformer-based large VL model into a small VL model. The major challenge arises from the inconsistent regional visual tokens extracted from different detectors of Teacher and Student, resulting in the misalignment of hidden representations and attention distributions. To address the problem, we retrain and adapt the Teacher by using the same region proposals from Student's detector while the features are from Teacher's own object detector. With aligned network inputs, the adapted Teacher is capable of transferring the knowledge through the intermediate representations. Specifically, we use the mean square error loss to mimic the attention distribution inside the transformer block and present a token-wise noise contrastive loss to align the hidden state by contrasting with negative representations stored in a sample queue. To this end, we show that our proposed distillation significantly improves the performance of small VL models on image captioning and visual question answering tasks. It reaches 120.8 in CIDEr score on COCO captioning, an improvement of 5.1 over its non-distilled counterpart; and an accuracy of 69.8 on VQA 2.0, a 0.8 gain from the baseline. Our extensive experiments and ablations confirm the effectiveness of VL distillation in both pre-training and fine-tuning stages.

TACo: Token-aware Cascade Contrastive Learning for Video-Text Alignment Artificial Intelligence

Contrastive learning has been widely used to train transformer-based vision-language models for video-text alignment and multi-modal representation learning. This paper presents a new algorithm called Token-Aware Cascade contrastive learning (TACo) that improves contrastive learning using two novel techniques. The first is the token-aware contrastive loss which is computed by taking into account the syntactic classes of words. This is motivated by the observation that for a video-text pair, the content words in the text, such as nouns and verbs, are more likely to be aligned with the visual contents in the video than the function words. Second, a cascade sampling method is applied to generate a small set of hard negative examples for efficient loss estimation for multi-modal fusion layers. To validate the effectiveness of TACo, in our experiments we finetune pretrained models for a set of downstream tasks including text-video retrieval (YouCook2, MSR-VTT and ActivityNet), video action step localization (CrossTask), video action segmentation (COIN). The results show that our models attain consistent improvements across different experimental settings over previous methods, setting new state-of-the-art on three public text-video retrieval benchmarks of YouCook2, MSR-VTT and ActivityNet.

MVP: Multi-Stage Vision-Language Pre-Training via Multi-Level Semantic Alignment Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a Multi-stage Vision-language Pre-training (MVP) framework to learn cross-modality representation via multi-level semantic alignment. We introduce concepts in both modalities to construct two-level semantic representations for language and vision. Based on the multi-level input, we train the cross-modality model in two stages, namely, uni-modal learning and cross-modal learning. The former stage enforces within-modality interactions to learn multi-level semantics for each single modality. The latter stage enforces interactions across modalities via both coarse-grain and fine-grain semantic alignment tasks. Image-text matching and masked language modeling are then used to further optimize the pre-training model. Our model generates the-state-of-the-art results on several vision and language tasks.

CoCo-BERT: Improving Video-Language Pre-training with Contrastive Cross-modal Matching and Denoising Artificial Intelligence

BERT-type structure has led to the revolution of vision-language pre-training and the achievement of state-of-the-art results on numerous vision-language downstream tasks. Existing solutions dominantly capitalize on the multi-modal inputs with mask tokens to trigger mask-based proxy pre-training tasks (e.g., masked language modeling and masked object/frame prediction). In this work, we argue that such masked inputs would inevitably introduce noise for cross-modal matching proxy task, and thus leave the inherent vision-language association under-explored. As an alternative, we derive a particular form of cross-modal proxy objective for video-language pre-training, i.e., Contrastive Cross-modal matching and denoising (CoCo). By viewing the masked frame/word sequences as the noisy augmentation of primary unmasked ones, CoCo strengthens video-language association by simultaneously pursuing inter-modal matching and intra-modal denoising between masked and unmasked inputs in a contrastive manner. Our CoCo proxy objective can be further integrated into any BERT-type encoder-decoder structure for video-language pre-training, named as Contrastive Cross-modal BERT (CoCo-BERT). We pre-train CoCo-BERT on TV dataset and a newly collected large-scale GIF video dataset (ACTION). Through extensive experiments over a wide range of downstream tasks (e.g., cross-modal retrieval, video question answering, and video captioning), we demonstrate the superiority of CoCo-BERT as a pre-trained structure.