Like a baby: Visually situated neural language acquisition

Alexander G. Ororbia, Ankur Mali, Matthew A. Kelly, David Reitter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the benefits of visual context in training neural language models to perform next-word prediction. A multi-modal neural architecture is introduced that outperform its equivalent trained on language alone with a 2% decrease in perplexity, even when no visual context is available at test. Fine-tuning the embeddings of a pre-trained state-of-the-art bidirectional language model (BERT) in the language modeling framework yields a 3.5% improvement. The advantage for training with visual context when testing without is robust across different languages (English, German and Spanish) and different models (GRU, LSTM, ?-RNN, as well as those that use BERT embeddings). Thus, language models perform better when they learn like a baby, i.e, in a multi-modal environment. This finding is compatible with the theory of situated cognition: language is inseparable from its physical context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages5127-5136
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781950737482
StatePublished - 2020
Event57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Jul 28 2019Aug 2 2019

Publication series

NameACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period7/28/198/2/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Linguistics and Language

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  • Cite this

    Ororbia, A. G., Mali, A., Kelly, M. A., & Reitter, D. (2020). Like a baby: Visually situated neural language acquisition. In ACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference (pp. 5127-5136). (ACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference). Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).