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Workshop: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better (ICBINB): Failure Modes in the Age of Foundation Models

On the performance of Multimodal Language Models

Utsav Garg · Erhan Bas


Instruction-tuned large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated promising zero-shot generalization capabilities across various downstream tasks. Recent research has introduced multimodal capabilities to LLMs by integrating independently pretrained vision encoders through model grafting. These multimodal variants undergo instruction tuning, similar to LLMs, enabling effective zero-shot generalization for multimodal tasks. This study conducts a comparative analysis of different multimodal instruction tuning approaches and evaluates their performance across a range of tasks, including complex reasoning, conversation, image captioning, multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and binary classification. Through rigorous benchmarking and ablation experiments, we reveal key insights for guiding architectural choices when incorporating multimodal capabilities into LLMs. However, current approaches have limitations; they do not sufficiently address the need for a diverse multimodal instruction dataset, which is crucial for enhancing task generalization. Additionally, they overlook issues related to truthfulness and factuality when generating responses. These findings illuminate current methodological constraints in adapting language models for image comprehension and provide valuable guidance for researchers and practitioners seeking to harness multimodal versions of LLMs.

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