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Selective Amnesia: A Continual Learning Approach to Forgetting in Deep Generative Models

Alvin Heng · Harold Soh

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #920
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Thu 14 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST


The recent proliferation of large-scale text-to-image models has led to growing concerns that such models may be misused to generate harmful, misleading, and inappropriate content. Motivated by this issue, we derive a technique inspired by continual learning to selectively forget concepts in pretrained deep generative models. Our method, dubbed Selective Amnesia, enables controllable forgetting where a user can specify how a concept should be forgotten. Selective Amnesia can be applied to conditional variational likelihood models, which encompass a variety of popular deep generative frameworks, including variational autoencoders and large-scale text-to-image diffusion models. Experiments across different models demonstrate that our approach induces forgetting on a variety of concepts, from entire classes in standard datasets to celebrity and nudity prompts in text-to-image models.

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