Mass-Producing Failures of Multimodal Systems with Language Models


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Deployed multimodal systems can fail in ways that evaluators did not anticipate. In order to find these failures before deployment, we introduce MultiMon, a system that automatically identifies systematic failures -- generalizable, natural-language descriptions of patterns of model failures. To uncover systematic failures, MultiMon scrapes a corpus for examples of erroneous agreement: inputs that produce the same output, but should not. It then prompts a language model (e.g., GPT-4) to find systematic patterns of failure and describe them in natural language. We use MultiMon to find 14 systematic failures (e.g., "ignores quantifiers") of the CLIP text-encoder, each comprising hundreds of distinct inputs (e.g., "a shelf with a few/many books"). Because CLIP is the backbone for most state-of-the-art multimodal systems, these inputs produce failures in Midjourney 5.1, DALL-E, VideoFusion, and others. MultiMon can also steer towards failures relevant to specific use cases, such as self-driving cars. We see MultiMon as a step towards evaluation that autonomously explores the long tail of potential system failures. Code for MULTIMON is available at
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