The project

The recent advances of two key fields of AI, i.e. CV and NLP, have shown the ability to process textual and visual information in effective ways, opening up new possibilities both at the scientific and the industrial level. While content is increasingly available with mixed modalities (text, images, videos, etc.), most efforts have focused on monomodal deep learning approaches which deal primarily with either text or visual. The need to process mixed content is particularly important when it comes to creative contexts where the combination of text and visual content can enable new possibilities.

The convergence of deep learning with Computer Vision and NLP has made it possible to empower not only effective understanding and retrieval, but also - more recently - the generation of textual and visual information. However, in many cases the two communities tend to work independently, missing the benefit of developing innovative approaches which can work cross-modally, i.e. moving from text to visual and vice versa, or even mixing them. Indeed, a unified methodology is missing which provides a seamless integration between the different modalities based on multimodal processing of visual and textual data.

The CREATIVE project will make a quantum leap by investigating and developing innovative cross-modal neural models which can manipulate and transform different types of data seamlessly. CREATIVE will enable:

At the core of the project lies a new unifying paradigm that aims to find synergies between supervised neural networks (going beyond current convolutive autoencoders, GANs, Transformer-based NNs, Capsules and graph-based networks) and symbolic representations, as those obtained from multilingual lexical-semantic knowledge graphs.

This 3-year project brings together the research experiences and expertise of three internationally-recognized research teams: the NLP Group at Roma Sapienza, AImageLab at UNIMORE and Mhug Group at UNITN in multimedia and human understanding, encompassing NLP, vision and multimedia. The project proposes foundational research with a direct industrial exploitation. Three use cases have been proposed with clearly-identified stakeholders: cross-modal media retrieval and image animation with RAI, image, video and textual generation for Virtual-try-on services in the fashion industry (with the YNAP luxury e-commerce company) and cross-modal retrieval and generation of recipe and food description for restaurant e-commerce (with Italian Restaurants). We foresee an enormous potential benefit for made-in-Italy industries and as well as in paving the way to new research directions in several areas of AI.

CREATIVE is a PRIN (National Interest Research Project) 2020 project.


Roberto Navigli photo
Roberto Navigli
University of Rome La Sapienza
Rita Cucchiara photo
Rita Cucchiara
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Niculae Sebe photo
Niculae Sebe
University of Trento


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