Just Ask: Learning to Answer Questions from Millions of Narrated Videos

Abstract

Recent methods for visual question answering rely on large-scale annotated datasets. Manual annotation of questions and answers for videos, however, is tedious, expensive and prevents scalability. In this work, we propose to avoid manual annotation and generate a large-scale training dataset for video question answering making use of automatic cross-modal supervision. We leverage a question generation transformer trained on text data and use it to generate question-answer pairs from transcribed video narrations. Given narrated videos, we then automatically generate the HowToVQA69M dataset with 69M video-question-answer triplets. To handle the open vocabulary of diverse answers in this dataset, we propose a training procedure based on a contrastive loss between a video-question multi-modal transformer and an answer transformer. We introduce the zero-shot VideoQA task and show excellent results, in particular for rare answers. Furthermore, we demonstrate our method to significantly outperform the state of the art on MSRVTT-QA, MSVD-QA, ActivityNet-QA and How2QA. Finally, for a detailed evaluation we introduce iVQA, a new VideoQA dataset with reduced language biases and high-quality redundant manual annotations.

Online VideoQA Demo

At this link, we host an online demo where you can ask the question of your choice to our models about a large set of videos. Here is an example below:






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Video: 2 min presentation

Video: 12 min presentation

Video: extra results

Conference Paper

BibTeX

@inproceedings{yang2021justask,
title={Just ask: Learning to answer questions from millions of narrated videos},
author={Yang, Antoine and Miech, Antoine and Sivic, Josef and Laptev, Ivan and Schmid, Cordelia},
booktitle={Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision},
pages={1686--1697},
year={2021}}

Journal Extension (Learning to Answer Visual Questions from Web Videos)

BibTeX

@article{yang2022learningta,
title={Learning to Answer Visual Questions from Web Videos},
author={Antoine Yang and Antoine Miech and Josef Sivic and Ivan Laptev and Cordelia Schmid},
journal={IEEE transactions on pattern analysis and machine intelligence},
year={2022},
volume={PP}
}

Code

iVQA Data

HowToVQA69M Data

Examples of automatically generated video-question-answer triplets in HowToVQA69M. The green color indicates relevant examples, the orange color (penultimate row) indicates a failure of the question-answer generation, and the red color (last row) indicates that the generated question-answer is unrelated to the visual content.

WebVidVQA3M Data

Examples of automatically generated video-question-answer triplets in WebVidVQA3M. The green color indicates relevant examples, the orange color (penultimate row) indicates a failure of the question-answer generation, and the red color (last row) indicates that the generated question-answer is unrelated to the visual content.

Disclaimer

Data sourced from YouTube or Shutterstock may be prone to biases. Please be careful of unintended societal, gender, racial and other biases when training or deploying models trained on this data.

Misc.

People


Antoine
Yang

Antoine
Miech

Josef
Sivic

Ivan
Laptev

Cordelia
Schmid

Acknowledgements

This work was granted access to the HPC resources of IDRIS under the allocation 2020-101267 made by GENCI.

This work was funded by a Google gift, the French government under management of Agence Nationale de la Recherche as part of the "Investissements d'avenir" program, reference ANR-19-P3IA-0001 (PRAIRIE 3IA Institute), the Louis Vuitton ENS Chair on Artificial Intelligence, the European Regional Development Fund under project IMPACT (reg. no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15 003/0000468) and Antoine Miech's Google PhD fellowship.

We thank Pierre-Louis Guhur and Makarand Tapaswi for advices on using Amazon Mechanical Turk, Eloïse Berthier, Quentin Le Lidec and Elliot Chane-Sane for manual evaluation of a sample of generated data, and Ignacio Rocco for proofreading.