The rapid growth of information in the field of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in the subfields of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML), presents a significant challenge for researchers and practitioners to keep pace with the latest developments. To address the problem of information overload, this report by the Natural Language Learning Group at Bielefeld University focuses on identifying the most popular papers on arXiv, with a specific emphasis on NLP and ML. The objective is to offer a quick guide to the most relevant and widely discussed research, aiding both newcomers and established researchers in staying abreast of current trends. In particular, we compile a list of the 40 most popular papers based on normalized citation counts from the first half of 2023. We observe the dominance of papers related to Large Language Models (LLMs) and specifically ChatGPT during the first half of 2023, with the latter showing signs of declining popularity more recently, however. Further, NLP related papers are the most influential (around 60\% of top papers) even though there are twice as many ML related papers in our data. Core issues investigated in the most heavily cited papers are: LLM efficiency, evaluation techniques, ethical considerations, embodied agents, and problem-solving with LLMs. Additionally, we examine the characteristics of top papers in comparison to others outside the top-40 list (noticing the top paper's focus on LLM related issues and higher number of co-authors) and analyze the citation distributions in our dataset, among others.
ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI, has gained widespread popularity and media attention since its release in November 2022. However, little hard evidence is available regarding its perception in various sources. In this paper, we analyze over 300,000 tweets and more than 150 scientific papers to investigate how ChatGPT is perceived and discussed. Our findings show that ChatGPT is generally viewed as of high quality, with positive sentiment and emotions of joy dominating in social media. Its perception has slightly decreased since its debut, however, with joy decreasing and (negative) surprise on the rise, and it is perceived more negatively in languages other than English. In recent scientific papers, ChatGPT is characterized as a great opportunity across various fields including the medical domain, but also as a threat concerning ethics and receives mixed assessments for education. Our comprehensive meta-analysis of ChatGPT's current perception after 2.5 months since its release can contribute to shaping the public debate and informing its future development. We make our data available.
Active learning (AL) is a prominent technique for reducing the annotation effort required for training machine learning models. Deep learning offers a solution for several essential obstacles to deploying AL in practice but introduces many others. One of such problems is the excessive computational resources required to train an acquisition model and estimate its uncertainty on instances in the unlabeled pool. We propose two techniques that tackle this issue for text classification and tagging tasks, offering a substantial reduction of AL iteration duration and the computational overhead introduced by deep acquisition models in AL. We also demonstrate that our algorithm that leverages pseudo-labeling and distilled models overcomes one of the essential obstacles revealed previously in the literature. Namely, it was shown that due to differences between an acquisition model used to select instances during AL and a successor model trained on the labeled data, the benefits of AL can diminish. We show that our algorithm, despite using a smaller and faster acquisition model, is capable of training a more expressive successor model with higher performance.
Annotating training data for sequence tagging of texts is usually very time-consuming. Recent advances in transfer learning for natural language processing in conjunction with active learning open the possibility to significantly reduce the necessary annotation budget. We are the first to thoroughly investigate this powerful combination for the sequence tagging task. We conduct an extensive empirical study of various Bayesian uncertainty estimation methods and Monte Carlo dropout options for deep pre-trained models in the active learning framework and find the best combinations for different types of models. Besides, we also demonstrate that to acquire instances during active learning, a full-size Transformer can be substituted with a distilled version, which yields better computational performance and reduces obstacles for applying deep active learning in practice.