Learning Video Representations from Large Language Models

Yue Zhao1,2 Ishan Misra1 Philipp Krähenbühl2 Rohit Girdhar1
1FAIR, Meta AI 2The University of Texas at Austin


We introduce LaViLa(Language-augmented Video Language Pretraining), a new approach to learning video-language representations by leveraging Large Language Models (LLMs). We repurpose pre-trained LLMs to be conditioned on visual input, and finetune them to create automatic video narrators. Our auto-generated narrations offer a number of advantages, including dense coverage of long videos, better temporal synchronization of the visual information and text, and much higher diversity of text. The video-text embedding learned contrastively with these additional auto-generated narrations outperforms the previous state-of-the-art on multiple first-person and third-person video tasks, both in zero-shot and finetuned setups. Most notably, LaViLa obtains an absolute gain of 10.1% on EGTEA classification and 5.9% Epic-Kitchens-100 multi-instance retrieval benchmarks. Furthermore, LaViLa trained with only half the narrations from the Ego4D dataset outperforms baseline models trained on the full set, and shows positive scaling behavior on increasing pre-training data and model size.

Narrator Examples (egocentric videos)


Human narration:
C separates the yarn. C lifts container. C operates the camera.

Narrator (run 1)
C stetches the thread
with both hands.
C wipes the countertop
with a sponge.
C takes a photo shot.

Narrator (run 2)
C pulls out the yarn
with her right hand.
C moves the container. A man X looks at the
^The starting "C" stands for "camera wearer" according to Ego4D's narration format.

Narrator Examples (third-person videos)


Pastry chef cutting bread into
slices during the preparation
of a dessert, inside a kitchen.
Close-up shot of the hands
of an experienced baker
skillfully kneading bread dough.
Chef preparing a sauce in
a blender, adding different
ingredients while blending.

Narrator (run 1)
so now we're going to slice the bread i'm gonna make a little hole
in the middle of the dough here
all right let's blend this up

Narrator (run 2)
now i'm going to do is just slice
this up into a nice chunk and
then we're going to place it
on the plate
you just keep kneading it the last step to making this
is to blend the ingredients
in the food processor

Main Results

(a) State-of-the-art results on a wide range of video tasks.

(b) LaViLa scales with Narrator size. Default refers to only using original narrations.

(c) LaViLa scales with human annotation size.


Yue Zhao

Ishan Misra

Philipp Krähenbühl

Rohit Girdhar


Y Zhao, I. Misra, P. Krähenbühl, R. Girdhar
Learning Video Representations from Large Language Models
Tech Report
[arXiv] [code/models] [bibtex]


We thank Naman Goyal, Stephen Roller and Susan Zhang for help with language models, Kevin Qinghong Lin for help with EgoVLP, and the Meta AI team for helpful discussions and feedback. This material is based upon work in-part supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-1845485. The website template is borrowed from omnivore. The egocentric videos are from Ego4D. The 3rd-person videos of cutting a loaf, kneading a dough, and preparing a sauce in a blender are licensed under the Mixkit Stock Video Free License.