Learning to Learn Words from Visual Scenes

Dídac Surís, Dave Epstein, Heng Ji, Shih-Fu Chang, Carl Vondrick ;


Language acquisition is the process of learning words from the surrounding scene. We introduce a meta-learning framework that mph{learns how to learn} word representations from unconstrained scenes. We leverage the natural compositional structure of language to create training episodes that cause a meta-learner to learn strong policies for language acquisition. Experiments on two datasets show that our approach is able to more rapidly acquire novel words as well as more robustly generalize to unseen compositions, significantly outperforming established baselines. A key advantage of our approach is that it is data efficient, allowing representations to be learned from scratch without language pre-training. Visualizations and analysis suggest visual information helps our approach learn a rich cross-modal representation from minimal examples."

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