Learning to navigate by distilling visual information and natural language instructions

In this work, we focus on the problem of grounding language by training an agent to follow a set of natural language instructions and navigate to a target object in a 2D grid environment. The agent receives visual information through raw pixels and a natural language instruction telling what task needs to be achieved... Other than these two sources of information, our model does not have any prior information of both the visual and textual modalities and is end-to-end trainable. We develop an attention mechanism for multi-modal fusion of visual and textual modalities that allows the agent to learn to complete the navigation tasks and also achieve language grounding. Our experimental results show that our attention mechanism outperforms the existing multi-modal fusion mechanisms proposed in order to solve the above mentioned navigation task. We demonstrate through the visualization of attention weights that our model learns to correlate attributes of the object referred in the instruction with visual representations and also show that the learnt textual representations are semantically meaningful as they follow vector arithmetic and are also consistent enough to induce translation between instructions in different natural languages. We also show that our model generalizes effectively to unseen scenarios and exhibit zero-shot generalization capabilities. In order to simulate the above described challenges, we introduce a new 2D environment for an agent to jointly learn visual and textual modalities read more

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