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Workshop: Synthetic Data for Empowering ML Research

MAQA: A Multimodal QA Benchmark for Negation

Yue Li · Aren Jansen · Qingqing Huang · Ravi Ganti · Joonseok Lee · Dima Kuzmin


Multimodal learning can benefit from the representation power of pretrained Large Language Models (LLMs). However, state-of-the-art transformer based LLMs often ignore negations in natural language and there is no existing benchmark to quantitatively evaluate whether multimodal transformers inherit this weakness. In this study, we present a new multimodal question answering (QA) benchmark adapted from labeled music videos in AudioSet (Gemmeke et al., 2017) with the goal of systematically evaluating if multimodal transformers can perform complex reasoning to recognize new concepts as negation of previously learned concepts. We show that with standard fine-tuning approach multimodal transformers are still incapable of correctly interpreting negation irrespective of model size. However, our experiments demonstrate that augmenting the original training task distributions with negated QA examples allow the model to reliably reason with negation. To do this, we describe a novel data generation procedure that prompts the 540B-parameter PaLM model to automatically generate negated QA examples as compositions of easily accessible video tags. The generated examples contain more natural linguistic patterns and the gains compared to template-based task augmentation approach are significant.

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