VATT: Transformers for Multimodal Self-Supervised Learning from Raw Video, Audio and Text

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Hassan Akbari, Liangzhe Yuan, Rui Qian, Wei-Hong Chuang, Shih-Fu Chang, Yin Cui, Boqing Gong

Abstract

We present a framework for learning multimodal representations from unlabeled data using convolution-free Transformer architectures. Specifically, our Video-Audio-Text Transformer (VATT) takes raw signals as inputs and extracts multimodal representations that are rich enough to benefit a variety of downstream tasks. We train VATT end-to-end from scratch using multimodal contrastive losses and evaluate its performance by the downstream tasks of video action recognition, audio event classification, image classification, and text-to-video retrieval. Furthermore, we study a modality-agnostic single-backbone Transformer by sharing weights among the three modalities. We show that the convolution-free VATT outperforms state-of-the-art ConvNet-based architectures in the downstream tasks. Especially, VATT's vision Transformer achieves the top-1 accuracy of 82.1% on Kinetics-400, 83.6% on Kinetics-600, 72.7% on Kinetics-700, and 41.1% on Moments in Time, new records while avoiding supervised pre-training. Transferring to image classification leads to 78.7% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet compared to 64.7% by training the same Transformer from scratch, showing the generalizability of our model despite the domain gap between videos and images. VATT's audio Transformer also sets a new record on waveform-based audio event recognition by achieving the mAP of 39.4% on AudioSet without any supervised pre-training.