Every company talks to its customers with natural language. The last three years signaled the beginning of a golden age for natural language processing (NLP), one of the most useful and visible forms of machine learning (ML).
NLP is a branch of machine learning that endows computers with the human-like ability to understand text and spoken word. Thanks to the increase in computational power, the sheer volume of raw language data available on the Internet, and the popularization of deep learning, NLP has transformed from a hypothetical question posed in the 1950 Turing Test to an everyday reality.
“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson
Incumbents are taking advantage of the uneven playing field
NLP has not been a stranger to consumer internet and financial services behemoths. The rapid pace of innovation coming out of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (FAANG) has led to a new generation of household names, from Siri to Alexa. Search engines, email autocomplete, recommendation systems, chatbots, and messaging platforms all leverage NLP to facilitate more effective communication. These modern applications of ML have been distributed across an unequal playing field where a few large companies with significant resources capture most of the value. Transformers, the latest deep learning architecture, has begun to level the playing field.
Enter Transformers: taking NLP…