The paper "Attention is All You Need" was published in 2017, introducing the transformer architecture based upon “attention”: a powerful, revolutionary concept that has since become the foundation of numerous AI advancements.

As humans, one of our most scarce resources is attention. It is inevitably bounded by time, a non-renewable commodity. Our daily lives are packed with distractions and noise, making it increasingly challenging to focus on the things that truly matter.

It is ironic, then, that the AI advancements based on “attention” have led to a slew of AI models poised to generate unimaginable volumes of text and visual content—ready to conquer our attention spans. The question is: can we harness AI in the opposite direction to help us maintain our attention—and sanity?

I hope so. For one, it’d certainly be welcome to have email and app notifications intelligently filtered and prioritized, and for browsers to take more active steps to ensure a distraction-free reading experience. This battle is still in its infancy.

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