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Transformers, More than Meets the Eye

How transformers are changing the field of computer vision.


While Transformers are not new to deep learning, their successful application to computer vision is. Transformers holding the SOTA in a vision benchmark is certainly a massive breakthrough, but it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to compete with convolutional networks in the (relatively) “low-data low-compute” regime long term.

Even more interesting is the potential for a convergence of NLP and CV around similar architectural components. If this trend is to continue, it could rapidly accelerate the progress of the field as a whole as the DL community, as its many niches and sub-categories begin to adopt similar techniques to solve wildly different problems.

Transformers have only been around for 4 years, but it’s clear that their impact on DL research will resonate for years to come.