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Mini NLP Cypher | Mini Year Review
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Mini NLP Cypher | Mini Year Review

Last Updated on July 27, 2023 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Ricky Costa

Originally published on Towards AI.

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Mini NLP Cypher U+007C Mini Year Review

U+1F44BU+1F44B 2020 – The Year That Never Was

Good riddance to the woeful 12 months that made the year 2020. We spent the entire time wearing masks and nervously watching the news for vaccine updates. And while the Earth stood still for a full calendar year, software (and hardware) marched forward, and it never stopped. Even as the year winded down, and all was quiet, maybe too quiet, we couldn’t help but to witness Microsoft and Google go head-to-head once more in the never-ending SuperGLUE battle:

Microsoft added DeBERTa to supersede Google’s T5’s position on the benchmark to only 12 hours later be superseded by a new deployment of T5 + Meena (what?). U+1F923

At Quantum Stat, we kept moving forward as well. We added 800+ datasets and 300+ notebooks to our inventories in addition to thousands of inference code snippets for NLP models. U+1F635 Thank you to all contributors who made it possible!

Ok, so what does NLP look like for 2021? A bifurcation of SUPER large models vs. smaller compressed models? Or how about advancements in sparsity for pretrained models? Or how about models small enough to fit natively on the edge getting closer to reality?

Maybe all of the above. Additionally, we’ll probably see graphs and deep learning finally get married. 2021 will be their honeymoon. Several libraries already out there and have been maturing for several years like PyTorch Geometric, DGL, and DeepMind’s Graph Nets. Here are their GitHub stars growth trajectories over the years:

via paperspace blog

With regards to model architecture, we are also seeing a few alternatives for memory savings, improved abilities to handle longer sequences of text and improved training objectives. Few examples:

Longformer

Reformer

ELECTRA

Also, domain specific adaptation of NLP models will continue to proliferate. And by domain, I’m referring to 3 dimensions: languages, textual format (Twitter text or formal text etc.) and sector (legal or healthcare etc.)

Few examples:

Language-Focused: BERTurk, CamemBERT, AlBERTo, MBERT

Text-Focused: BERTweet , CharBERT

Sector-Focused: BioBERT, FinBERT, Legal-BERT

Inference optimization was a big winner this past year with several libraries being released. This focus area will help to continue bridge the performance gap between research and the enterprise so expect more from this area for the upcoming year. Here are a few libraries that help with optimizing transformers:

FastFormers

TurboTransformers

DeLight

ONNX Transformers

BERT seems so far away now with so many new model architectures and novel use-cases that made 2020 a weird one given the circumstances.

But 2021 is shaping up to be a good year for all of us. So until then…

Happy New Years U+1F387U+1F386U+1F387, and see you on the other side! U+270CU+270C 2021

P.S., regular NLP Cypher arriving Sunday.

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