Yuwei Bao


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Can Foundation Models Watch, Talk and Guide You Step by Step to Make a Cake?
Yuwei Bao | Keunwoo Yu | Yichi Zhang | Shane Storks | Itamar Bar-Yossef | Alex de la Iglesia | Megan Su | Xiao Zheng | Joyce Chai
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Despite tremendous advances in AI, it remains a significant challenge to develop interactive task guidance systems that can offer situated, personalized guidance and assist humans in various tasks. These systems need to have a sophisticated understanding of the user as well as the environment, and make timely accurate decisions on when and what to say. To address this issue, we created a new multimodal benchmark dataset, Watch, Talk and Guide (WTaG) based on natural interaction between a human user and a human instructor. We further proposed two tasks: User and Environment Understanding, and Instructor Decision Making. We leveraged several foundation models to study to what extent these models can be quickly adapted to perceptually enabled task guidance. Our quantitative, qualitative, and human evaluation results show that these models can demonstrate fair performances in some cases with no task-specific training, but a fast and reliable adaptation remains a significant challenge. Our benchmark and baselines will provide a stepping stone for future work on situated task guidance.

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Human Inspired Progressive Alignment and Comparative Learning for Grounded Word Acquisition
Yuwei Bao | Barrett Lattimer | Joyce Chai
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Human language acquisition is an efficient, supervised, and continual process. In this work, we took inspiration from how human babies acquire their first language, and developed a computational process for word acquisition through comparative learning. Motivated by cognitive findings, we generated a small dataset that enables the computation models to compare the similarities and differences of various attributes, learn to filter out and extract the common information for each shared linguistic label. We frame the acquisition of words as not only the information filtration process, but also as representation-symbol mapping. This procedure does not involve a fixed vocabulary size, nor a discriminative objective, and allows the models to continually learn more concepts efficiently. Our results in controlled experiments have shown the potential of this approach for efficient continual learning of grounded words.


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DANLI: Deliberative Agent for Following Natural Language Instructions
Yichi Zhang | Jianing Yang | Jiayi Pan | Shane Storks | Nikhil Devraj | Ziqiao Ma | Keunwoo Yu | Yuwei Bao | Joyce Chai
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent years have seen an increasing amount of work on embodied AI agents that can perform tasks by following human language instructions. However, most of these agents are reactive, meaning that they simply learn and imitate behaviors encountered in the training data. These reactive agents are insufficient for long-horizon complex tasks. To address this limitation, we propose a neuro-symbolic deliberative agent that, while following language instructions, proactively applies reasoning and planning based on its neural and symbolic representations acquired from past experience (e.g., natural language and egocentric vision). We show that our deliberative agent achieves greater than 70% improvement over reactive baselines on the challenging TEACh benchmark. Moreover, the underlying reasoning and planning processes, together with our modular framework, offer impressive transparency and explainability to the behaviors of the agent. This enables an in-depth understanding of the agent’s capabilities, which shed light on challenges and opportunities for future embodied agents for instruction following. The code is available at https://github.com/sled-group/DANLI.

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Learning to Mediate Disparities Towards Pragmatic Communication
Yuwei Bao | Sayan Ghosh | Joyce Chai
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Human communication is a collaborative process. Speakers, on top of conveying their own intent, adjust the content and language expressions by taking the listeners into account, including their knowledge background, personalities, and physical capabilities. Towards building AI agents with similar abilities in language communication, we propose a novel rational reasoning framework, Pragmatic Rational Speaker (PRS), where the speaker attempts to learn the speaker-listener disparity and adjust the speech accordingly, by adding a light-weighted disparity adjustment layer into working memory on top of speaker’s long-term memory system. By fixing the long-term memory, the PRS only needs to update its working memory to learn and adapt to different types of listeners. To validate our framework, we create a dataset that simulates different types of speaker-listener disparities in the context of referential games. Our empirical results demonstrate that the PRS is able to shift its output towards the language that listeners are able to understand, significantly improve the collaborative task outcome, and learn the disparity more efficiently than joint training.