Collaborating Authors


Emotion Recognition from Multiple Modalities: Fundamentals and Methodologies Artificial Intelligence

Humans are emotional creatures. Multiple modalities are often involved when we express emotions, whether we do so explicitly (e.g., facial expression, speech) or implicitly (e.g., text, image). Enabling machines to have emotional intelligence, i.e., recognizing, interpreting, processing, and simulating emotions, is becoming increasingly important. In this tutorial, we discuss several key aspects of multi-modal emotion recognition (MER). We begin with a brief introduction on widely used emotion representation models and affective modalities. We then summarize existing emotion annotation strategies and corresponding computational tasks, followed by the description of main challenges in MER. Furthermore, we present some representative approaches on representation learning of each affective modality, feature fusion of different affective modalities, classifier optimization for MER, and domain adaptation for MER. Finally, we outline several real-world applications and discuss some future directions.

Neural Photofit: Gaze-based Mental Image Reconstruction Artificial Intelligence

We propose a novel method that leverages human fixations to visually decode the image a person has in mind into a photofit (facial composite). Our method combines three neural networks: An encoder, a scoring network, and a decoder. The encoder extracts image features and predicts a neural activation map for each face looked at by a human observer. A neural scoring network compares the human and neural attention and predicts a relevance score for each extracted image feature. Finally, image features are aggregated into a single feature vector as a linear combination of all features weighted by relevance which a decoder decodes into the final photofit. We train the neural scoring network on a novel dataset containing gaze data of 19 participants looking at collages of synthetic faces. We show that our method significantly outperforms a mean baseline predictor and report on a human study that shows that we can decode photofits that are visually plausible and close to the observer's mental image.

Attention in the Human Brain and Its Applications in ML


Some objects grab our attention when we see them, even when we are not exactly looking for them. How precisely does this happen? And, more importantly, how can we incorporate this phenomena to improve our computer vision models? In this article, I will explain the process of paying attention to salient (i.e. Visual perception, saliency, and attention have been active research topics in neuroscience for decades. The discoveries and advancements that these researchers have made have helped AI researchers understand and mimic the process(es) in the human brain.

Neural network model shows why people with autism read facial expressions differently


People with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty interpreting facial expressions. Using a neural network model that reproduces the brain on a computer, a group of researchers based at Tohoku University have unraveled how this comes to be. The journal Scientific Reports published the results on July 26, 2021. "Humans recognize different emotions, such as sadness and anger by looking at facial expressions. Yet little is known about how we come to recognize different emotions based on the visual information of facial expressions," said paper coauthor, Yuta Takahashi.

Neural network model shows why people with autism read facial expressions differently


Using a neural network model that reproduces the brain on a computer, a group of researchers based at Tohoku University have unraveled how this comes to be. The journal Scientific Reports published the results on July 26, 2021. "Humans recognize different emotions, such as sadness and anger by looking at facial expressions. Yet little is known about how we come to recognize different emotions based on the visual information of facial expressions," said paper coauthor, Yuta Takahashi. "It is also not clear what changes occur in this process that leads to people with autism spectrum disorder struggling to read facial expressions."

Modeling Object Recognition in Newborn Chicks using Deep Neural Networks Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, the brain and cognitive sciences have made great strides developing a mechanistic understanding of object recognition in mature brains. Despite this progress, fundamental questions remain about the origins and computational foundations of object recognition. What learning algorithms underlie object recognition in newborn brains? Since newborn animals learn largely through unsupervised learning, we explored whether unsupervised learning algorithms can be used to predict the view-invariant object recognition behavior of newborn chicks. Specifically, we used feature representations derived from unsupervised deep neural networks (DNNs) as inputs to cognitive models of categorization. We show that features derived from unsupervised DNNs make competitive predictions about chick behavior compared to supervised features. More generally, we argue that linking controlled-rearing studies to image-computable DNN models opens new experimental avenues for studying the origins and computational basis of object recognition in newborn animals.

Partial success in closing the gap between human and machine vision Artificial Intelligence

A few years ago, the first CNN surpassed human performance on ImageNet. However, it soon became clear that machines lack robustness on more challenging test cases, a major obstacle towards deploying machines "in the wild" and towards obtaining better computational models of human visual perception. Here we ask: Are we making progress in closing the gap between human and machine vision? To answer this question, we tested human observers on a broad range of out-of-distribution (OOD) datasets, adding the "missing human baseline" by recording 85,120 psychophysical trials across 90 participants. We then investigated a range of promising machine learning developments that crucially deviate from standard supervised CNNs along three axes: objective function (self-supervised, adversarially trained, CLIP language-image training), architecture (e.g. vision transformers), and dataset size (ranging from 1M to 1B). Our findings are threefold. (1.) The longstanding robustness gap between humans and CNNs is closing, with the best models now matching or exceeding human performance on most OOD datasets. (2.) There is still a substantial image-level consistency gap, meaning that humans make different errors than models. In contrast, most models systematically agree in their categorisation errors, even substantially different ones like contrastive self-supervised vs. standard supervised models. (3.) In many cases, human-to-model consistency improves when training dataset size is increased by one to three orders of magnitude. Our results give reason for cautious optimism: While there is still much room for improvement, the behavioural difference between human and machine vision is narrowing. In order to measure future progress, 17 OOD datasets with image-level human behavioural data are provided as a benchmark here:

ReduNet: A White-box Deep Network from the Principle of Maximizing Rate Reduction Machine Learning

This work attempts to provide a plausible theoretical framework that aims to interpret modern deep (convolutional) networks from the principles of data compression and discriminative representation. We argue that for high-dimensional multi-class data, the optimal linear discriminative representation maximizes the coding rate difference between the whole dataset and the average of all the subsets. We show that the basic iterative gradient ascent scheme for optimizing the rate reduction objective naturally leads to a multi-layer deep network, named ReduNet, which shares common characteristics of modern deep networks. The deep layered architectures, linear and nonlinear operators, and even parameters of the network are all explicitly constructed layer-by-layer via forward propagation, although they are amenable to fine-tuning via back propagation. All components of so-obtained "white-box" network have precise optimization, statistical, and geometric interpretation. Moreover, all linear operators of the so-derived network naturally become multi-channel convolutions when we enforce classification to be rigorously shift-invariant. The derivation in the invariant setting suggests a trade-off between sparsity and invariance, and also indicates that such a deep convolution network is significantly more efficient to construct and learn in the spectral domain. Our preliminary simulations and experiments clearly verify the effectiveness of both the rate reduction objective and the associated ReduNet. All code and data are available at Keywords: rate reduction, linear discriminative representation, white-box deep network, multi-channel convolution, sparsity and invariance trade-off "What I cannot create, I do not understand."

Tracking Without Re-recognition in Humans and Machines Artificial Intelligence

Imagine trying to track one particular fruitfly in a swarm of hundreds. Higher biological visual systems have evolved to track moving objects by relying on both appearance and motion features. We investigate if state-of-the-art deep neural networks for visual tracking are capable of the same. For this, we introduce PathTracker, a synthetic visual challenge that asks human observers and machines to track a target object in the midst of identical-looking "distractor" objects. While humans effortlessly learn PathTracker and generalize to systematic variations in task design, state-of-the-art deep networks struggle. To address this limitation, we identify and model circuit mechanisms in biological brains that are implicated in tracking objects based on motion cues. When instantiated as a recurrent network, our circuit model learns to solve PathTracker with a robust visual strategy that rivals human performance and explains a significant proportion of their decision-making on the challenge. We also show that the success of this circuit model extends to object tracking in natural videos. Adding it to a transformer-based architecture for object tracking builds tolerance to visual nuisances that affect object appearance, resulting in a new state-of-the-art performance on the large-scale TrackingNet object tracking challenge. Our work highlights the importance of building artificial vision models that can help us better understand human vision and improve computer vision.

Statistical Mechanics of Neural Processing of Object Manifolds Artificial Intelligence

Invariant object recognition is one of the most fundamental cognitive tasks performed by the brain. In the neural state space, different objects with stimulus variabilities are represented as different manifolds. In this geometrical perspective, object recognition becomes the problem of linearly separating different object manifolds. In feedforward visual hierarchy, it has been suggested that the object manifold representations are reformatted across the layers, to become more linearly separable. Thus, a complete theory of perception requires characterizing the ability of linear readout networks to classify object manifolds from variable neural responses. A theory of the perceptron of isolated points was pioneered by E. Gardner who formulated it as a statistical mechanics problem and analyzed it using replica theory. In this thesis, we generalize Gardner's analysis and establish a theory of linear classification of manifolds synthesizing statistical and geometric properties of high dimensional signals. [..] Next, we generalize our theory further to linear classification of general perceptual manifolds, such as point clouds. We identify that the capacity of a manifold is determined that effective radius, R_M, and effective dimension, D_M. Finally, we show extensions relevant for applications to real data, incorporating correlated manifolds, heterogenous manifold geometries, sparse labels and nonlinear classifications. Then, we demonstrate how object-based manifolds transform in standard deep networks. This thesis lays the groundwork for a computational theory of neuronal processing of objects, providing quantitative measures for linear separability of object manifolds. We hope this theory will provide new insights into the computational principles underlying processing of sensory representations in biological and artificial neural networks.