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[LWM] Intro to NLP

June 21, 2021/Alex Alderman

Welcome to our first blog-isode of Learn with me — a weekly educational series by Gauss Algorithmic. We take cutting-edge technological concepts and break them down into bite-sized pieces for everyday business people. Today’s topic will be the first in a series on Natural Language Processing, or NLP.

 

You use NLP technologies every day, even if you’ve never heard of it before. NLP will almost assuredly transform your industry in 5–10 years, even if you’ve never heard of it before. By 2026 the NLP market will quadruple in size to almost $50 bil., even if you’ve never heard of it before.

The point is, it’s time for you to know about NLP.

Think of it this way… do you think that it was helpful to know about the Internet before everybody else? You might have been able to invest in a small web-scraping start up or maybe turn your bookstore into… a much bigger bookstore

That’s the way you need to think about NLP. It’s already changing almost everything you interact with, and the advancements are only going to speed up (even if you’ve never heard of it before).

 

What is Natural Language Processing?

 

Simply, it’s a machine learning discipline that analyzes (processes) text and everyday (natural) communication (language).

Here are some examples that you’ve definitely seen before.

 

 

NLP is whenever an algorithm studies lots and lots of language data, and makes an educated guess about what you want it to do, based on some kind of input. The input can be text, like in the examples above. Or it can be from your voice (“Hey, Alexa, buy me some new underwear.”). 

 

How does it work?

 

What was mind-blowing to me was that these machine learning algorithms don’t analyze words at all! All words are first turned into numerical data

Next week we will talk about one of the main approaches that data scientists use to turn words into numbers: the delightfully named “Bag-of-words” method. Also covered next week is how to use these newly created bags of words to sort text into multiple categories — for example, an email to either your inbox or your spam folder.

Stay tuned! 📺

 

Will NLP affect my business?

 

That depends. Follow this quick checklist to find out if NLP will affect your business.

✅ Do you have any text on your website?
✅ Does your business use social media?
✅ Anyone at your company use a keyboard?


In other words: yes.

Want to know more about how? Well, you have two options:

1️⃣ Follow this blog (spoiler: soon-to-be newsletter) every week
2️⃣ Find out instantly by emailing us for a free consultation

 

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