Where are they looking?

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Adria Recasens, Aditya Khosla, Carl Vondrick, Antonio Torralba


Humans have the remarkable ability to follow the gaze of other people to identify what they are looking at. Following eye gaze, or gaze-following, is an important ability that allows us to understand what other people are thinking, the actions they are performing, and even predict what they might do next. Despite the importance of this topic, this problem has only been studied in limited scenarios within the computer vision community. In this paper, we propose a deep neural network-based approach for gaze-following and a new benchmark dataset for thorough evaluation. Given an image and the location of a head, our approach follows the gaze of the person and identifies the object being looked at. After training, the network is able to discover how to extract head pose and gaze orientation, and to select objects in the scene that are in the predicted line of sight and likely to be looked at (such as televisions, balls and food). The quantitative evaluation shows that our approach produces reliable results, even when viewing only the back of the head. While our method outperforms several baseline approaches, we are still far from reaching human performance at this task. Overall, we believe that this is a challenging and important task that deserves more attention from the community.