I posted a feeler in the chitchat earlier this week to see if there is interest in having a fast.ai meetup dedicated to NLP topics, and several expressed interest in the idea. This group would ideally be more on the advanced side of NLP, and oriented to discussing and trying out new ideas at the intersection of NLP and deep learning.
My Research Interests
My own particular interest at the moment is in extending transfer learning methods beyond typical text classification to other learning tasks (e.g. word tagging, seq2seq, summarization, coreference resolution), and in implementing the tools to do these just as easily as we can do text classification (if we have to).
I’m also very interested in useful data augmentation techniques for NLP, natural language generation and improved language models (e.g. GPT-2), interpretation of deep learning models for NLP, and applications of NLP to legal tech (the field I work in), medical records, and even network security (like using NLP methods for analyzing logs).
While my interests tend to be more on the applied side, I’m interested in theory as well, and am not at all afraid to get mathy (my degrees are in physics and math, after all). With that, I’m interested in theory of deep learning and optimization algorithms as well.
Plan of Action
For those taking the course in person, I’d ideally like to setup a sort of weekly meetup or something like that. Since many of us work during the day this would almost certainly have to be during evenings or weekends. We can also figure out a way to set up Zoom for those who might want to participate remotely.
Regarding discussions, I’d personally like to do a blend of papers we decide are interesting, mixed with practical use case discussions (so we can gauge how practical/useful an idea is), and (of course) showing the results of our own experiments on stuff we find interesting.
Relatively soon I’ll attempt to set up a poll soon to discuss meeting times and locations. Please do be flexible to meeting times because it can be very hard to get everybody to agree on one if we’re not all willing to budge at least a little.
If any of this seems interesting to you, or if you have ideas to add, please feel free to post below.
Here is some more detail on the goals I have for this meetup.