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May 19, 2020

A system to produce context-aware captions for news images

Posted by in category: computing

Computer systems that can automatically generate image captions have been around for several years. While many of these techniques perform considerably well, the captions they produce are typically generic and somewhat uninteresting, containing simple descriptions such as “a dog is barking” or “a man is sitting on a bench.”

Alasdair Tran, Alexander Mathews and Lexing Xie at the Australian National University have been trying to develop new systems that can generate more sophisticated and descriptive image captions. In a paper recently pre-published on arXiv, they introduced an automatic captioning system for news images that takes the general context behind an image into account while generating new captions. The goal of their study was to enable the creation of captions that are more detailed and more closely resemble those written by humans.

“We want to go beyond merely describing the obvious and boring visual details of an image,” Xie told TechXplore. “Our lab has already done work that makes image captions sentimental and romantic, and this work is a continuation on a different dimension. In this new direction, we wanted to focus on the context.”

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