Damien Teney


Vision-Language Pretraining: Current Trends and the Future
Aishwarya Agrawal | Damien Teney | Aida Nematzadeh
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

In the last few years, there has been an increased interest in building multimodal (vision-language) models that are pretrained on larger but noisier datasets where the two modalities (e.g., image and text) loosely correspond to each other (e.g., Lu et al., 2019; Radford et al., 2021). Given a task (such as visual question answering), these models are then often fine-tuned on task-specific supervised datasets. (e.g., Lu et al., 2019; Chen et al.,2020; Tan and Bansal, 2019; Li et al., 2020a,b). In addition to the larger pretraining datasets, the transformer architecture (Vaswani et al., 2017) and in particular self-attention applied to two modalities are responsible for the impressive performance of the recent pretrained models on downstream tasks (Hendricks et al., 2021). In this tutorial, we focus on recent vision-language pretraining paradigms. Our goal is to first provide the background on image–language datasets, benchmarks, and modeling innovations before the multimodal pretraining area. Next we discuss the different family of models used for vision-language pretraining, highlighting their strengths and shortcomings. Finally, we discuss the limits of vision-language pretraining through statistical learning, and the need for alternative approaches such as causal representation learning.


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Reasoning over Vision and Language: Exploring the Benefits of Supplemental Knowledge
Violetta Shevchenko | Damien Teney | Anthony Dick | Anton van den Hengel
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Beyond Vision and LANguage: inTEgrating Real-world kNowledge (LANTERN)

The limits of applicability of vision-and language models are defined by the coverage of their training data. Tasks like vision question answering (VQA) often require commonsense and factual information beyond what can be learned from task-specific datasets. This paper investigates the injection of knowledge from general-purpose knowledge bases (KBs) into vision-and-language transformers. We use an auxiliary training objective that encourages the learned representations to align with graph embeddings of matching entities in a KB. We empirically study the relevance of various KBs to multiple tasks and benchmarks. The technique brings clear benefits to knowledge-demanding question answering tasks (OK-VQA, FVQA) by capturing semantic and relational knowledge absent from existing models. More surprisingly, the technique also benefits visual reasoning tasks (NLVR2, SNLI-VE). We perform probing experiments and show that the injection of additional knowledge regularizes the space of embeddings, which improves the representation of lexical and semantic similarities. The technique is model-agnostic and can expand the applicability of any vision-and-language transformer with minimal computational overhead.