Human conversation is a complex mechanism with subtle nuances. It is hence an ambitious goal to develop artificial intelligence agents that can participate fluently in a conversation. While we are still far from achieving this goal, recent progress in visual question answering, image captioning, and visual question generation shows that dialog systems may be realizable in the not too distant future. To this end, a novel dataset was introduced recently and encouraging results were demonstrated, particularly for question answering. In this paper, we demonstrate a simple symmetric discriminative baseline, that can be applied to both predicting an answer as well as predicting a question. We show that this method performs on par with the state of the art, even memory net based methods. In addition, for the first time on the visual dialog dataset, we assess the performance of a system asking questions, and demonstrate how visual dialog can be generated from discriminative question generation and question answering.

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自动问答(Question Answering, QA)是指利用计算机自动回答用户所提出的问题以满足用户知识需求的任务。不同于现有搜索引擎,问答系统是信息服务的一种高级形式,系统返回用户的不再是基于关键词匹配排序的文档列表,而是精准的自然语言答案。近年来,随着人工智能的飞速发展,自动问答已经成为倍受关注且发展前景广泛的研究方向。

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Despite recent advances in Visual QuestionAnswering (VQA), it remains a challenge todetermine how much success can be attributedto sound reasoning and comprehension ability.We seek to investigate this question by propos-ing a new task ofrationale generation. Es-sentially, we task a VQA model with generat-ing rationales for the answers it predicts. Weuse data from the Visual Commonsense Rea-soning (VCR) task, as it contains ground-truthrationales along with visual questions and an-swers. We first investigate commonsense un-derstanding in one of the leading VCR mod-els, ViLBERT, by generating rationales frompretrained weights using a state-of-the-art lan-guage model, GPT-2. Next, we seek to jointlytrain ViLBERT with GPT-2 in an end-to-endfashion with the dual task of predicting the an-swer in VQA and generating rationales. Weshow that this kind of training injects com-monsense understanding in the VQA modelthrough quantitative and qualitative evaluationmetrics

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As a crucial component in task-oriented dialog systems, the Natural Language Generation (NLG) module converts a dialog act represented in a semantic form into a response in natural language. The success of traditional template-based or statistical models typically relies on heavily annotated data, which is infeasible for new domains. Therefore, it is pivotal for an NLG system to generalize well with limited labelled data in real applications. To this end, we present FewShotWoz, the first NLG benchmark to simulate the few-shot learning setting in task-oriented dialog systems. Further, we develop the SC-GPT model. It is pre-trained on a large set of annotated NLG corpus to acquire the controllable generation ability, and fine-tuned with only a few domain-specific labels to adapt to new domains. Experiments on FewShotWoz and the large Multi-Domain-WOZ datasets show that the proposed SC-GPT significantly outperforms existing methods, measured by various automatic metrics and human evaluations.

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Paragraph-style image captions describe diverse aspects of an image as opposed to the more common single-sentence captions that only provide an abstract description of the image. These paragraph captions can hence contain substantial information of the image for tasks such as visual question answering. Moreover, this textual information is complementary with visual information present in the image because it can discuss both more abstract concepts and more explicit, intermediate symbolic information about objects, events, and scenes that can directly be matched with the textual question and copied into the textual answer (i.e., via easier modality match). Hence, we propose a combined Visual and Textual Question Answering (VTQA) model which takes as input a paragraph caption as well as the corresponding image, and answers the given question based on both inputs. In our model, the inputs are fused to extract related information by cross-attention (early fusion), then fused again in the form of consensus (late fusion), and finally expected answers are given an extra score to enhance the chance of selection (later fusion). Empirical results show that paragraph captions, even when automatically generated (via an RL-based encoder-decoder model), help correctly answer more visual questions. Overall, our joint model, when trained on the Visual Genome dataset, significantly improves the VQA performance over a strong baseline model.

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Visual question answering (VQA) demands simultaneous comprehension of both the image visual content and natural language questions. In some cases, the reasoning needs the help of common sense or general knowledge which usually appear in the form of text. Current methods jointly embed both the visual information and the textual feature into the same space. However, how to model the complex interactions between the two different modalities is not an easy task. In contrast to struggling on multimodal feature fusion, in this paper, we propose to unify all the input information by natural language so as to convert VQA into a machine reading comprehension problem. With this transformation, our method not only can tackle VQA datasets that focus on observation based questions, but can also be naturally extended to handle knowledge-based VQA which requires to explore large-scale external knowledge base. It is a step towards being able to exploit large volumes of text and natural language processing techniques to address VQA problem. Two types of models are proposed to deal with open-ended VQA and multiple-choice VQA respectively. We evaluate our models on three VQA benchmarks. The comparable performance with the state-of-the-art demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Reading comprehension QA tasks have seen a recent surge in popularity, yet most works have focused on fact-finding extractive QA. We instead focus on a more challenging multi-hop generative task (NarrativeQA), which requires the model to reason, gather, and synthesize disjoint pieces of information within the context to generate an answer. This type of multi-step reasoning also often requires understanding implicit relations, which humans resolve via external, background commonsense knowledge. We first present a strong generative baseline that uses a multi-attention mechanism to perform multiple hops of reasoning and a pointer-generator decoder to synthesize the answer. This model performs substantially better than previous generative models, and is competitive with current state-of-the-art span prediction models. We next introduce a novel system for selecting grounded multi-hop relational commonsense information from ConceptNet via a pointwise mutual information and term-frequency based scoring function. Finally, we effectively use this extracted commonsense information to fill in gaps of reasoning between context hops, using a selectively-gated attention mechanism. This boosts the model's performance significantly (also verified via human evaluation), establishing a new state-of-the-art for the task. We also show that our background knowledge enhancements are generalizable and improve performance on QAngaroo-WikiHop, another multi-hop reasoning dataset.

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We propose a two-stage neural model to tackle question generation from documents. First, our model estimates the probability that word sequences in a document are ones that a human would pick when selecting candidate answers by training a neural key-phrase extractor on the answers in a question-answering corpus. Predicted key phrases then act as target answers and condition a sequence-to-sequence question-generation model with a copy mechanism. Empirically, our key-phrase extraction model significantly outperforms an entity-tagging baseline and existing rule-based approaches. We further demonstrate that our question generation system formulates fluent, answerable questions from key phrases. This two-stage system could be used to augment or generate reading comprehension datasets, which may be leveraged to improve machine reading systems or in educational settings.

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Recently, Visual Question Answering (VQA) has emerged as one of the most significant tasks in multimodal learning as it requires understanding both visual and textual modalities. Existing methods mainly rely on extracting image and question features to learn their joint feature embedding via multimodal fusion or attention mechanism. Some recent studies utilize external VQA-independent models to detect candidate entities or attributes in images, which serve as semantic knowledge complementary to the VQA task. However, these candidate entities or attributes might be unrelated to the VQA task and have limited semantic capacities. To better utilize semantic knowledge in images, we propose a novel framework to learn visual relation facts for VQA. Specifically, we build up a Relation-VQA (R-VQA) dataset based on the Visual Genome dataset via a semantic similarity module, in which each data consists of an image, a corresponding question, a correct answer and a supporting relation fact. A well-defined relation detector is then adopted to predict visual question-related relation facts. We further propose a multi-step attention model composed of visual attention and semantic attention sequentially to extract related visual knowledge and semantic knowledge. We conduct comprehensive experiments on the two benchmark datasets, demonstrating that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance and verifying the benefit of considering visual relation facts.

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We propose the inverse problem of Visual question answering (iVQA), and explore its suitability as a benchmark for visuo-linguistic understanding. The iVQA task is to generate a question that corresponds to a given image and answer pair. Since the answers are less informative than the questions, and the questions have less learnable bias, an iVQA model needs to better understand the image to be successful than a VQA model. We pose question generation as a multi-modal dynamic inference process and propose an iVQA model that can gradually adjust its focus of attention guided by both a partially generated question and the answer. For evaluation, apart from existing linguistic metrics, we propose a new ranking metric. This metric compares the ground truth question's rank among a list of distractors, which allows the drawbacks of different algorithms and sources of error to be studied. Experimental results show that our model can generate diverse, grammatically correct and content correlated questions that match the given answer.

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A vexing problem in artificial intelligence is reasoning about events that occur in complex, changing visual stimuli such as in video analysis or game play. Inspired by a rich tradition of visual reasoning and memory in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, we developed an artificial, configurable visual question and answer dataset (COG) to parallel experiments in humans and animals. COG is much simpler than the general problem of video analysis, yet it addresses many of the problems relating to visual and logical reasoning and memory -- problems that remain challenging for modern deep learning architectures. We additionally propose a deep learning architecture that performs competitively on other diagnostic VQA datasets (i.e. CLEVR) as well as easy settings of the COG dataset. However, several settings of COG result in datasets that are progressively more challenging to learn. After training, the network can zero-shot generalize to many new tasks. Preliminary analyses of the network architectures trained on COG demonstrate that the network accomplishes the task in a manner interpretable to humans.

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We propose the task of free-form and open-ended Visual Question Answering (VQA). Given an image and a natural language question about the image, the task is to provide an accurate natural language answer. Mirroring real-world scenarios, such as helping the visually impaired, both the questions and answers are open-ended. Visual questions selectively target different areas of an image, including background details and underlying context. As a result, a system that succeeds at VQA typically needs a more detailed understanding of the image and complex reasoning than a system producing generic image captions. Moreover, VQA is amenable to automatic evaluation, since many open-ended answers contain only a few words or a closed set of answers that can be provided in a multiple-choice format. We provide a dataset containing ~0.25M images, ~0.76M questions, and ~10M answers (www.visualqa.org), and discuss the information it provides. Numerous baselines and methods for VQA are provided and compared with human performance. Our VQA demo is available on CloudCV (http://cloudcv.org/vqa).

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