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The Best of NLP

By Chris Edwards

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 64 No. 4, Pages 9-11

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When it was released by Google just a few years ago, a deep-learning model called BERT demonstrated a major step forward in natural language processing (NLP). BERT's core structure, based on a type of neural network known as a Transformer, has become the underpinning for a range of NLP applications, from completing search queries and user-written sentences to language translation.

The models even score well on benchmarks intended to test understanding at a high school level, such as Large-scale ReAding Comprehension (RACE) developed at Carnegie Mellon University. In doing so, they have become marketing tools in the artificial intelligence (AI) gold rush. At Nvidia's annual technology conference, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang used RACE to claim high performance for his company's implementation of BERT.


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