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Learning Neural Acoustic Fields
Andrew Luo · Yilun Du · Michael Tarr · Josh Tenenbaum · Antonio Torralba · Chuang Gan

Wed Nov 30 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Hall J #624

Our environment is filled with rich and dynamic acoustic information. When we walk into a cathedral, the reverberations as much as appearance inform us of the sanctuary's wide open space. Similarly, as an object moves around us, we expect the sound emitted to also exhibit this movement. While recent advances in learned implicit functions have led to increasingly higher quality representations of the visual world, there have not been commensurate advances in learning spatial auditory representations. To address this gap, we introduce Neural Acoustic Fields (NAFs), an implicit representation that captures how sounds propagate in a physical scene. By modeling acoustic propagation in a scene as a linear time-invariant system, NAFs learn to continuously map all emitter and listener location pairs to a neural impulse response function that can then be applied to arbitrary sounds. We demonstrate NAFs on both synthetic and real data, and show that the continuous nature of NAFs enables us to render spatial acoustics for a listener at arbitrary locations. We further show that the representation learned by NAFs can help improve visual learning with sparse views. Finally we show that a representation informative of scene structure emerges during the learning of NAFs.

Author Information

Andrew Luo (Carnegie Mellon University)
Yilun Du (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Michael Tarr (Carnegie Mellon University)
Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

Antonio Torralba (MIT)
Chuang Gan (UMass Amherst/ MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab)

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