• A language learning system that pays attention more efficiently than ever before

    MIT researchers developed a hardware and software system that could reduce the computing power, energy, and time required for text analysis and generation. Credit: Jose-Luis Olivares, MIT Human language can be inefficient. Some words are vital. Others, expendable. Reread the first sentence of this story. Just two words, “language” and “inefficient,” convey almost the entire meaning of the sentence. The importance of key words underlies a popular new tool for natural language processing (NLP) by computers: the attention mechanism. When coded into a broader NLP algorithm, the attention mechanism homes in on key words rather than treating every word with equal importance. That yields better results in NLP tasks like…