We propose PIGLeT: a model that learns physical commonsense knowledge through interaction, and then uses this knowledge to ground language. We factorize PIGLeT into a physical dynamics model, and a separate language model. Our dynamics model learns not just what objects are but also what they do: glass cups break when thrown, plastic ones don’t. We then use it as the interface to our language model, giving us a unified model of linguistic form and grounded meaning. PIGLeT can read a sentence, simulate neurally what might happen next, and then communicate that result through a literal symbolic representation, or natural language. Experimental results show that our model effectively learns world dynamics, along with how to communicate them. It is able to correctly forecast what happens next given an English sentence over 80% of the time, outperforming a 100x larger, text-to-text approach by over 10%. Likewise, its natural language summaries of physical interactions are also judged by humans as more accurate than LM alternatives. We present comprehensive analysis showing room for future work.
Communicating with humans is challenging for AIs because it requires a shared understanding of the world, complex semantics (e.g., metaphors or analogies), and at times multi-modal gestures (e.g., pointing with a finger, or an arrow in a diagram). We investigate these challenges in the context of Iconary, a collaborative game of drawing and guessing based on Pictionary, that poses a novel challenge for the research community. In Iconary, a Guesser tries to identify a phrase that a Drawer is drawing by composing icons, and the Drawer iteratively revises the drawing to help the Guesser in response. This back-and-forth often uses canonical scenes, visual metaphor, or icon compositions to express challenging words, making it an ideal test for mixing language and visual/symbolic communication in AI. We propose models to play Iconary and train them on over 55,000 games between human players. Our models are skillful players and are able to employ world knowledge in language models to play with words unseen during training.
Mirroring the success of masked language models, vision-and-language counterparts like VILBERT, LXMERT and UNITER have achieved state of the art performance on a variety of multimodal discriminative tasks like visual question answering and visual grounding. Recent work has also successfully adapted such models towards the generative task of image captioning. This begs the question: Can these models go the other way and generate images from pieces of text? Our analysis of a popular representative from this model family – LXMERT – finds that it is unable to generate rich and semantically meaningful imagery with its current training setup. We introduce X-LXMERT, an extension to LXMERT with training refinements including: discretizing visual representations, using uniform masking with a large range of masking ratios and aligning the right pre-training datasets to the right objectives which enables it to paint. X-LXMERT’s image generation capabilities rival state of the art generative models while its question answering and captioning abilities remains comparable to LXMERT. Finally, we demonstrate the generality of these training refinements by adding image generation capabilities into UNITER to produce X-UNITER.