Julia Kruk


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Impressions: Visual Semiotics and Aesthetic Impact Understanding
Julia Kruk | Caleb Ziems | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Is aesthetic impact different from beauty? Is visual salience a reflection of its capacity for effective communication? We present Impressions, a novel dataset through which to investigate the semiotics of images, and how specific visual features and design choices can elicit specific emotions, thoughts and beliefs. We posit that the impactfulness of an image extends beyond formal definitions of aesthetics, to its success as a communicative act, where style contributes as much to meaning formation as the subject matter. We also acknowledge that existing Image Captioning datasets are not designed to empower state-of-the-art architectures to model potential human impressions or interpretations of images. To fill this need, we design an annotation task heavily inspired by image analysis techniques in the Visual Arts to collect 1,440 image-caption pairs and 4,320 unique annotations exploring impact, pragmatic image description, impressions and aesthetic design choices. We show that existing multimodal image captioning and conditional generation models struggle to simulate plausible human responses to images. However, this dataset significantly improves their ability to model impressions and aesthetic evaluations of images through fine-tuning and few-shot adaptation.


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Integrating Text and Image: Determining Multimodal Document Intent in Instagram Posts
Julia Kruk | Jonah Lubin | Karan Sikka | Xiao Lin | Dan Jurafsky | Ajay Divakaran
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Computing author intent from multimodal data like Instagram posts requires modeling a complex relationship between text and image. For example, a caption might evoke an ironic contrast with the image, so neither caption nor image is a mere transcript of the other. Instead they combine—via what has been called meaning multiplication (Bateman et al.)- to create a new meaning that has a more complex relation to the literal meanings of text and image. Here we introduce a multimodal dataset of 1299 Instagram posts labeled for three orthogonal taxonomies: the authorial intent behind the image-caption pair, the contextual relationship between the literal meanings of the image and caption, and the semiotic relationship between the signified meanings of the image and caption. We build a baseline deep multimodal classifier to validate the taxonomy, showing that employing both text and image improves intent detection by 9.6 compared to using only the image modality, demonstrating the commonality of non-intersective meaning multiplication. The gain with multimodality is greatest when the image and caption diverge semiotically. Our dataset offers a new resource for the study of the rich meanings that result from pairing text and image.