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The recent GPT-4 has demonstrated extraordinary multi-modal abilities, such as directly generating websites from handwritten text and identifying humorous elements within images. These features are rarely observed in previous vision-language models. We believe the primary reason for GPT-4’s advanced multi-modal generation capabilities lies in the utilization of a more advanced large language model (LLM). To examine this phenomenon, we present MiniGPT-4, which aligns a frozen visual encoder with a frozen LLM, Vicuna, using just one projection layer. Our findings reveal that MiniGPT-4 possesses many capabilities similar to those exhibited by GPT-4 like detailed image description generation and website creation from hand-written drafts. Furthermore, we also observe other emerging capabilities in MiniGPT-4, including writing stories and poems inspired by given images, providing solutions to problems shown in images, teaching users how to cook based on food photos, etc. In our experiment, we found that only performing the pretraining on raw image-text pairs could produce unnatural language outputs that lack coherency including repetition and fragmented sentences. To address this problem, we curate a high-quality, well-aligned dataset in the second stage to finetune our model using a conversational template. This step proved crucial for augmenting the model’s generation reliability and overall usability. Notably, our model is highly computationally efficient, as we only train a projection layer utilizing approximately 5 million aligned image-text pairs.


MiniGPT-4 consists of a vision encoder with a pretrained ViT and Q-Former, a single linear projection layer, and an advanced Vicuna large language model. MiniGPT-4 only requires training the linear layer to align the visual features with the Vicuna.:

The architecture of MiniGPT-4.

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