Learning the Visualness of Text
Using Large Vision-Language Models

[ Paper @ EMNLP2023 ]

Gaurav Verma1, Ryan A. Rossi2, Christopher Tensmeyer2, Jiuxiang Gu2, and Ani Nenkova2

1Georgia Institute of Technology, 2Adobe Research
(Work done while GV was an intern at Adobe Research)


⭐ Our paper has been accepted at EMNLP 2023 [resources coming soon]

Overview of the sentence visualness identification task, along with a motivating downstream application – image-to-text generation systems like DALL-E can be passively triggered for sentences identified as visual (in this example, the sentence about Tai chi), while skipping generation for non-visual text (the sentence about complaint).

Technical Abstract

Visual text evokes an image in a person's mind, while non-visual text fails to do so. A method to automatically detect visualness in text will unlock the ability to augment text with relevant images, as neural text-to-image generation and retrieval models operate on the implicit assumption that the input text is visual in nature. We curate a dataset of 3,620 English sentences and their visualness scores provided by multiple human annotators. Additionally, we use documents that contain text and visual assets to create a distantly supervised corpus of document text and associated images. We also propose a fine-tuning strategy that adapts large vision-language models like CLIP that assume a one-to-one correspondence between text and image to the task of scoring text visualness from text input alone. Our strategy involves modifying the model's contrastive learning objective to map text identified as non-visual to a common NULL image while matching visual text to their corresponding images in the document. We evaluate the proposed approach on its ability to (i) classify visual and non-visual text accurately, and (ii) attend over words that are identified as visual in psycholinguistic studies. Empirical evaluation indicates that our approach performs better than several heuristics and baseline models for the proposed task. Furthermore, to highlight the importance of modeling the visualness of text, we conduct qualitative analyses of text-to-image generation systems like DALL-E.

Paper and Bibtex

Learning the Visualness of Text Using Large Vision-Language Models
Gaurav Verma, Ryan A. Rossi, Christopher Tensmeyer, Jiuxiang Gu, Ani Nenkova
In Proceedings of The 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. 2023.

webpage: https://gaurav22verma.github.io/text-visualness/
arXiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2305.10434


title={Learning the Visualness of Text Using Large Vision-Language Models},
author={Verma, Gaurav and Rossi, Ryan A and Tensmeyer, Christopher and Gu, Jiuxiang and Nenkova, Ani},
booktitle={The 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing},

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