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LLaVA-Med: Training a Large Language-and-Vision Assistant for Biomedicine in One Day

Chunyuan Li · Cliff Wong · Sheng Zhang · Naoto Usuyama · Haotian Liu · Jianwei Yang · Tristan Naumann · Hoifung Poon · Jianfeng Gao

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #442
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Thu 14 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST

Abstract:

Conversational generative AI has demonstrated remarkable promise for empowering biomedical practitioners, but current investigations focus on unimodal text. Multimodal conversational AI has seen rapid progress by leveraging billions of image-text pairs from the public web, but such general-domain vision-language models still lack sophistication in understanding and conversing about biomedical images. In this paper, we propose a cost-efficient approach for training a vision-language conversational assistant that can answer open-ended research questions of biomedical images. The key idea is to leverage a large-scale, broad-coverage biomedical figure-caption dataset extracted from PubMed Central, use GPT-4 to self-instruct open-ended instruction-following data from the captions, and then fine-tune a large general-domain vision-language model using a novel curriculum learning method. Specifically, the model first learns to align biomedical vocabulary using the figure-caption pairs as is, then learns to master open-ended conversational semantics using GPT-4 generated instruction-following data, broadly mimicking how a layperson gradually acquires biomedical knowledge. This enables us to train a Large Language and Vision Assistant for BioMedicine (LLaVA-Med) in less than 15 hours (with eight A100s). LLaVA-Med exhibits excellent multimodal conversational capability and can follow open-ended instruction to assist with inquiries about a biomedical image. On three standard biomedical visual question answering datasets, LLaVA-Med outperforms previous supervised state-of-the-art on certain metrics. To facilitate biomedical multimodal research, we will release our instruction-following data and the LLaVA-Med model.

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