Allison Parrish on a solar-powered language model for lovers' dawn poems ('Solar powered dawn poems: progress report'), 21 March 2022

This project is a reaction to current trends in natural language processing research, which now veer toward both material extravagance and social indifference. My hope is that the project serves as a small brake on the wheels of these trends. I’m trying to demonstrate what it’s like to really think through the material and social preconditions for language models. What does it look like when you have to account for every watt of power you use, instead of feeding fossil fuels and dollar bills into the “cloud”? What does it look like when you have to account for every word in your corpus, instead of blithely chewing through terabytes of words that you stole from the Internet? What can be gained from this kind of care?

Allison Parrish on resisting current tr…