Language is at the heart of human intelligence. It therefore is and must be at the heart of our efforts to build artificial intelligence. No sophisticated AI can exist without mastery of language.
The field of language AI—also referred to as natural language processing, or NLP—has undergone breathtaking, unprecedented advances over the past few years. Two related technology breakthroughs have driven this remarkable recent progress: self-supervised learning and a powerful new deep learning architecture known as the transformer.
We now stand at an exhilarating inflection point. Next-generation language AI is poised to make the leap from academic research to widespread real-world adoption, generating many billions of dollars of value and transforming entire industries in the years ahead.
A nascent ecosystem of startups is at the vanguard of this technology revolution. These companies have begun to apply cutting-edge NLP across sectors with a wide range of different product visions and business models. Given language’s foundational importance throughout society and the economy, few areas of technology will have a more far-reaching impact in the years ahead.