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Language-Informed Visual Concept Learning

Sharon Lee · Yunzhi Zhang · Shangzhe Wu · Jiajun Wu

Halle B #22
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Our understanding of the visual world is centered around various concept axes, characterizing different aspects of visual entities. While different concept axes can be easily specified by language, e.g., color, the exact visual nuances along each axis often exceed the limitations of linguistic articulations, e.g., a particular style of painting. In this work, our goal is to learn a language-informed visual concept representation, by simply distilling large pre-trained vision-language models. Specifically, we train a set of concept encoders to encode the information pertinent to a set of language-informed concept axes, with an objective of reproducing the input image through a pre-trained Text-to-Image (T2I) model. To encourage better disentanglement of different concept encoders, we anchor the concept embeddings to a set of text embeddings obtained from a pre-trained Visual Question Answering (VQA) model. At inference time, the model extracts concept embeddings along various axes from new test images, which can be remixed to generate images with novel compositions of visual concepts. With a lightweight test-time finetuning procedure, it can also generalize to novel concepts unseen at training.Project page at

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