InterSpeech 2021

Direct multimodal few-shot learning of speech and images
(3 minutes introduction)

Leanne Nortje (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Herman Kamper (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
We propose direct multimodal few-shot models that learn a shared embedding space of spoken words and images from only a few paired examples. Imagine an agent is shown an image along with a spoken word describing the object in the picture, e.g. pen, book and eraser. After observing a few paired examples of each class, the model is asked to identify the “book” in a set of unseen pictures. Previous work used a two-step indirect approach relying on speech-speech and image-image comparisons across the support set of given speech-image pairs. Instead, we propose two direct models which learn a single multimodal space where inputs from different modalities are directly comparable: a multimodal triplet network (MTriplet) and a multimodal correspondence autoencoder (MCAE). To train these direct models, we mine speech-image pairs by using the support set to pair up unlabelled in-domain speech and images. In a speech-to-image digit matching task, direct models outperform indirect models, with the MTriplet achieving the best multimodal five-shot accuracy. We show that the improvements are due to the combination of unsupervised and transfer learning in the direct models, and the absence of two-step compounding errors.