Edited Media Understanding: Reasoning About Implications of Manipulated Images

Multimodal disinformation, from `deepfakes' to simple edits that deceive, is an important societal problem. Yet at the same time, the vast majority of media edits are harmless -- such as a filtered vacation photo. The difference between this example, and harmful edits that spread disinformation, is one of intent. Recognizing and describing this intent is a major challenge for today's AI systems. We present the task of Edited Media Understanding, requiring models to answer open-ended questions that capture the intent and implications of an image edit. We introduce a dataset for our task, EMU, with 48k question-answer pairs written in rich natural language. We evaluate a wide variety of vision-and-language models for our task, and introduce a new model PELICAN, which builds upon recent progress in pretrained multimodal representations. Our model obtains promising results on our dataset, with humans rating its answers as accurate 40.35% of the time. At the same time, there is still much work to be done -- humans prefer human-annotated captions 93.56% of the time -- and we provide analysis that highlights areas for further progress.

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