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Democratizing Fine-grained Visual Recognition with Large Language Models

Mingxuan Liu · Subhankar Roy · Wenjing Li · Zhun Zhong · Nicu Sebe · Elisa Ricci

Halle B #21
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Identifying subordinate-level categories from images is a longstanding task in computer vision and is referred to as fine-grained visual recognition (FGVR). It has tremendous significance in real-world applications since an average layperson does not excel at differentiating species of birds or mushrooms due to subtle differences among the species. A major bottleneck in developing FGVR systems is caused by the need of high-quality paired expert annotations. To circumvent the need of expert knowledge we propose Fine-grained Semantic Category Reasoning (FineR) that internally leverages the world knowledge of large language models (LLMs) as a proxy in order to reason about fine-grained category names. In detail, to bridge the modality gap between images and LLM, we extract part-level visual attributes from images as text and feed that information to a LLM. Based on the visual attributes and its internal world knowledge the LLM reasons about the subordinate-level category names. Our training-free FineR outperforms several state-of-the-art FGVR and language and vision assistant models and shows promise in working in the wild and in new domains where gathering expert annotation is arduous.

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