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Prompting Hard or Hardly Prompting: Prompt Inversion for Text-to-Image Diffusion Models

Shweta Mahajan · Tanzila Rahman · Kwang Moo Yi · Leonid Sigal

Arch 4A-E Poster #195
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Wed 19 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT


The quality of the prompts provided to text-to-image diffusion models determines how faithful the generated content is to the user's intent, often requiring `prompt engineering'.To harness visual concepts from target images without prompt engineering, current approaches largely rely on embedding inversion by optimizing and then mapping them to pseudo-tokens.However, working with such high-dimensional vector representations is challenging because they lack semantics and interpretability, and only allow simple vector operations when using them.Instead, this work focuses on inverting the diffusion model to obtain interpretable language prompts directly. The challenge of doing this lies in the fact that the resulting optimization problem is fundamentally discrete and the space of prompts is exponentially large; this makes using standard optimization techniques, such as stochastic gradient descent, difficult.To this end, we utilize a delayed projection scheme to optimize for prompts representative of the vocabulary space in the model.Further, we leverage the findings that different timesteps of the diffusion process cater to different levels of detail in an image. The later, noisy, timesteps of the forward diffusion process correspond to the semantic information, and therefore, prompt inversion in this range provides tokens representative of the image semantics. We show that our approach can identify semantically interpretable and meaningful prompts for a target image which can be used to synthesize diverse images with similar content.We further illustrate the application of the optimized prompts in evolutionary image generation and concept removal.

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