Emergent Mind

Grounding Language Models to Images for Multimodal Inputs and Outputs

Published Jan 31, 2023 in cs.CL , cs.AI , cs.CV , and cs.LG


We propose an efficient method to ground pretrained text-only language models to the visual domain, enabling them to process arbitrarily interleaved image-and-text data, and generate text interleaved with retrieved images. Our method leverages the abilities of language models learnt from large scale text-only pretraining, such as in-context learning and free-form text generation. We keep the language model frozen, and finetune input and output linear layers to enable cross-modality interactions. This allows our model to process arbitrarily interleaved image-and-text inputs, and generate free-form text interleaved with retrieved images. We achieve strong zero-shot performance on grounded tasks such as contextual image retrieval and multimodal dialogue, and showcase compelling interactive abilities. Our approach works with any off-the-shelf language model and paves the way towards an effective, general solution for leveraging pretrained language models in visually grounded settings.

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