ASIF: Coupled Data Turns Unimodal Models to Multimodal without Training

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Representation learning, Multimodal models, Analogy, Sparsity, Nonparametric, Relative representations, Language, Semiotics
TL;DR: The meaning was already there: connecting text and images without training a neural network to do so.
Abstract: CLIP proved that aligning visual and language spaces is key to solving many vision tasks without explicit training, but required to train image and text encoders from scratch on a huge dataset. LiT improved this by only training the text encoder and using a pre-trained vision network. In this paper, we show that a common space can be created without any training at all, using single-domain encoders (trained with or without supervision) and a much smaller amount of image-text pairs. Furthermore, our model has unique properties. Most notably, deploying a new version with updated training samples can be done in a matter of seconds. Additionally, the representations in the common space are easily interpretable as every dimension corresponds to the similarity of the input to a unique entry in the multimodal dataset. Experiments on standard zero-shot visual benchmarks demonstrate the typical transfer ability of image-text models. Overall, our method represents a simple yet surprisingly strong baseline for foundation multi-modal models, raising important questions on their data efficiency and on the role of retrieval in machine learning.
Supplementary Material: zip
Submission Number: 7204