Machine learning happens a lot like erosion. Data is hurled at a mathematical model like grains of sand skittering across a rocky landscape. Some of those grains simply sail along with little or no impact. But some of them make their mark: testing, hardening, and ultimately reshaping the landscape according to inherent patterns and fluctuations that emerge over time. Effective? Yes. Efficient? Not so much. Researchers are now seeking to bring efficiency to distributed learning techniques emerging as crucial to modern artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). In essence, the goal is to hurl far fewer grains of data without degrading the overall impact.