The field of natural language processing is chasing the wrong goal

At a typical annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), the program is a parade of titles like “A Structured Variational Autoencoder for Contextual Morphological Inflection.” The same technical flavor permeates the papers, the research talks, and many hallway chats. At this year’s conference in July, though, something felt different—and it wasn’t just…
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