One of the challenges in robotics is to enable robotic units with the reasoning capability that would be robust enough to execute complex tasks in dynamic environments. Recent advances in LLMs have positioned them as go-to tools for simple reasoning tasks, motivating the pioneering work of Liang et al.  that uses an LLM to translate natural language commands into low-level static execution plans for robotic units. Using LLMs inside robotics systems brings their generalization to a new level, enabling zero-shot generalization to new tasks. This paper extends this prior work to dynamic environments. We propose InCoRo, a system that uses a classical robotic feedback loop composed of an LLM controller, a scene understanding unit, and a robot. Our system continuously analyzes the state of the environment and provides adapted execution commands, enabling the robot to adjust to changing environmental conditions and correcting for controller errors. Our system does not require any iterative optimization to learn to accomplish a task as it leverages in-context learning with an off-the-shelf LLM model. Through an extensive validation process involving two standardized industrial robotic units -- SCARA and DELTA types -- we contribute knowledge about these robots, not popular in the community, thereby enriching it. We highlight the generalization capabilities of our system and show that (1) in-context learning in combination with the current state-of-the-art LLMs is an effective way to implement a robotic controller; (2) in static environments, InCoRo surpasses the prior art in terms of the success rate; (3) in dynamic environments, we establish new state-of-the-art for the SCARA and DELTA units, respectively. This research paves the way towards building reliable, efficient, intelligent autonomous systems that adapt to dynamic environments.
Current status quo in machine learning is to use static datasets of real images for training, which often come from long-tailed distributions. With the recent advances in generative models, researchers have started augmenting these static datasets with synthetic data, reporting moderate performance improvements on classification tasks. We hypothesize that these performance gains are limited by the lack of feedback from the classifier to the generative model, which would promote the usefulness of the generated samples to improve the classifier's performance. In this work, we introduce a framework for augmenting static datasets with useful synthetic samples, which leverages one-shot feedback from the classifier to drive the sampling of the generative model. In order for the framework to be effective, we find that the samples must be close to the support of the real data of the task at hand, and be sufficiently diverse. We validate three feedback criteria on a long-tailed dataset (ImageNet-LT) as well as a group-imbalanced dataset (NICO++). On ImageNet-LT, we achieve state-of-the-art results, with over 4 percent improvement on underrepresented classes while being twice efficient in terms of the number of generated synthetic samples. NICO++ also enjoys marked boosts of over 5 percent in worst group accuracy. With these results, our framework paves the path towards effectively leveraging state-of-the-art text-to-image models as data sources that can be queried to improve downstream applications.
The unprecedented photorealistic results achieved by recent text-to-image generative systems and their increasing use as plug-and-play content creation solutions make it crucial to understand their potential biases. In this work, we introduce three indicators to evaluate the realism, diversity and prompt-generation consistency of text-to-image generative systems when prompted to generate objects from across the world. Our indicators complement qualitative analysis of the broader impact of such systems by enabling automatic and efficient benchmarking of geographic disparities, an important step towards building responsible visual content creation systems. We use our proposed indicators to analyze potential geographic biases in state-of-the-art visual content creation systems and find that: (1) models have less realism and diversity of generations when prompting for Africa and West Asia than Europe, (2) prompting with geographic information comes at a cost to prompt-consistency and diversity of generated images, and (3) models exhibit more region-level disparities for some objects than others. Perhaps most interestingly, our indicators suggest that progress in image generation quality has come at the cost of real-world geographic representation. Our comprehensive evaluation constitutes a crucial step towards ensuring a positive experience of visual content creation for everyone.
Contrastive learning has emerged as an efficient framework to learn multimodal representations. CLIP, a seminal work in this area, achieved impressive results by training on paired image-text data using the contrastive loss. Recent work claims improvements over CLIP using additional non-contrastive losses inspired from self-supervised learning. However, it is sometimes hard to disentangle the contribution of these additional losses from other implementation details, e.g., data augmentation or regularization techniques, used to train the model. To shed light on this matter, in this paper, we first propose, implement and evaluate several baselines obtained by combining contrastive learning with recent advances in self-supervised learning. In particular, we use the loss functions that were proven successful for visual self-supervised learning to align image and text modalities. We find that these baselines outperform a basic implementation of CLIP. However, when a stronger training recipe is employed, the advantage disappears. Indeed, we find that a simple CLIP baseline can also be improved substantially, up to a 25% relative improvement on downstream zero-shot tasks, by using well-known training techniques that are popular in other subfields. Moreover, we discover that it is enough to apply image and text augmentations to make up for most of the improvement attained by prior works. With our improved training recipe for CLIP, we obtain state-of-the-art performance on four standard datasets, and consistently outperform prior work (up to +4% on the largest dataset), while being substantially simpler.
Recent advances in conditional generative image models have enabled impressive results. On the one hand, text-based conditional models have achieved remarkable generation quality, by leveraging large-scale datasets of image-text pairs. To enable fine-grained controllability, however, text-based models require long prompts, whose details may be ignored by the model. On the other hand, layout-based conditional models have also witnessed significant advances. These models rely on bounding boxes or segmentation maps for precise spatial conditioning in combination with coarse semantic labels. The semantic labels, however, cannot be used to express detailed appearance characteristics. In this paper, we approach fine-grained scene controllability through image collages which allow a rich visual description of the desired scene as well as the appearance and location of the objects therein, without the need of class nor attribute labels. We introduce "mixing and matching scenes" (M&Ms), an approach that consists of an adversarially trained generative image model which is conditioned on appearance features and spatial positions of the different elements in a collage, and integrates these into a coherent image. We train our model on the OpenImages (OI) dataset and evaluate it on collages derived from OI and MS-COCO datasets. Our experiments on the OI dataset show that M&Ms outperforms baselines in terms of fine-grained scene controllability while being very competitive in terms of image quality and sample diversity. On the MS-COCO dataset, we highlight the generalization ability of our model by outperforming DALL-E in terms of the zero-shot FID metric, despite using two magnitudes fewer parameters and data. Collage based generative models have the potential to advance content creation in an efficient and effective way as they are intuitive to use and yield high quality generations.
Data augmentation has become a crucial component to train state-of-the-art visual representation models. However, handcrafting combinations of transformations that lead to improved performances is a laborious task, which can result in visually unrealistic samples. To overcome these limitations, recent works have explored the use of generative models as learnable data augmentation tools, showing promising results in narrow application domains, e.g., few-shot learning and low-data medical imaging. In this paper, we introduce a data augmentation module, called DA_IC-GAN, which leverages instance-conditioned GAN generations and can be used off-the-shelf in conjunction with most state-of-the-art training recipes. We showcase the benefits of DA_IC-GAN by plugging it out-of-the-box into the supervised training of ResNets and DeiT models on the ImageNet dataset, and achieving accuracy boosts up to between 1%p and 2%p with the highest capacity models. Moreover, the learnt representations are shown to be more robust than the baselines when transferred to a handful of out-of-distribution datasets, and exhibit increased invariance to variations of instance and viewpoints. We additionally couple DA_IC-GAN with a self-supervised training recipe and show that we can also achieve an improvement of 1%p in accuracy in some settings. With this work, we strengthen the evidence on the potential of learnable data augmentations to improve visual representation learning, paving the road towards non-handcrafted augmentations in model training.
Recipe personalization through ingredient substitution has the potential to help people meet their dietary needs and preferences, avoid potential allergens, and ease culinary exploration in everyone's kitchen. To address ingredient substitution, we build a benchmark, composed of a dataset of substitution pairs with standardized splits, evaluation metrics, and baselines. We further introduce Graph-based Ingredient Substitution Module (GISMo), a novel model that leverages the context of a recipe as well as generic ingredient relational information encoded within a graph to rank plausible substitutions. We show through comprehensive experimental validation that GISMo surpasses the best performing baseline by a large margin in terms of mean reciprocal rank. Finally, we highlight the benefits of GISMo by integrating it in an improved image-to-recipe generation pipeline, enabling recipe personalization through user intervention. Quantitative and qualitative results show the efficacy of our proposed system, paving the road towards truly personalized cooking and tasting experiences.
Deep learning vision systems are widely deployed across applications where reliability is critical. However, even today's best models can fail to recognize an object when its pose, lighting, or background varies. While existing benchmarks surface examples challenging for models, they do not explain why such mistakes arise. To address this need, we introduce ImageNet-X, a set of sixteen human annotations of factors such as pose, background, or lighting the entire ImageNet-1k validation set as well as a random subset of 12k training images. Equipped with ImageNet-X, we investigate 2,200 current recognition models and study the types of mistakes as a function of model's (1) architecture, e.g. transformer vs. convolutional, (2) learning paradigm, e.g. supervised vs. self-supervised, and (3) training procedures, e.g., data augmentation. Regardless of these choices, we find models have consistent failure modes across ImageNet-X categories. We also find that while data augmentation can improve robustness to certain factors, they induce spill-over effects to other factors. For example, strong random cropping hurts robustness on smaller objects. Together, these insights suggest to advance the robustness of modern vision models, future research should focus on collecting additional data and understanding data augmentation schemes. Along with these insights, we release a toolkit based on ImageNet-X to spur further study into the mistakes image recognition systems make.
Multi-view implicit scene reconstruction methods have become increasingly popular due to their ability to represent complex scene details. Recent efforts have been devoted to improving the representation of input information and to reducing the number of views required to obtain high quality reconstructions. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the study of which views to select to maximally improve scene understanding remains largely unexplored. We propose an uncertainty-driven active vision approach for implicit scene reconstruction, which leverages occupancy uncertainty accumulated across the scene using volume rendering to select the next view to acquire. To this end, we develop an occupancy-based reconstruction method which accurately represents scenes using either 2D or 3D supervision. We evaluate our proposed approach on the ABC dataset and the in the wild CO3D dataset, and show that: (1) we are able to obtain high quality state-of-the-art occupancy reconstructions; (2) our perspective conditioned uncertainty definition is effective to drive improvements in next best view selection and outperforms strong baseline approaches; and (3) we can further improve shape understanding by performing a gradient-based search on the view selection candidates. Overall, our results highlight the importance of view selection for implicit scene reconstruction, making it a promising avenue to explore further.