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I'm looking at the history of NLP, starting in the 1950s, with the Georgetown–IBM experiment.

What are examples of the most recent (e.g. in the last 5-10 years) and influential breakthroughs in natural language processing?

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I suggest you take a look at the syllabus of http://cs224d.stanford.edu/syllabus.html and see what was invented in the last ~20 years. They focus on deep learning methods, and they include there almost everything important.

Among the things, which I would include into the review are:

  • Word2Vec models
  • Seq2Seq models

Concerning what happened in the last 5 years, i.e. since 2013, I suggest you mentioning super human performance on the SQuAD 1.1 dataset: https://rajpurkar.github.io/SQuAD-explorer/

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