What is natural language processing?
Natural language processing (NLP) relates to a system’s ability to understand and respond to human (natural) languages in text or speech formats. It is the branch of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) focused on using computer programming to understand, generate and process language. There are also many subcategories of NLP such as speech recognition, natural language generation (NLG) and natural language understanding (NLU).
Natural language processing uses machine learning (ML) to understand meaning and relationships between words. ML relies on grammatical rules and linguistic habits to find and predict patterns. Using deep learning, NLP can go beyond the limitations of ML, improving over time to understand intent and emotion, learning in a similar way to humans.
Natural language processing software examples and benefits
Search is the most common use of NLP software. Every time you use a search engine, that engine is utilizing NLP software to deliver results that match your expectations. NLP allows search engines to learn and improve over time.
Speech recognition tools are becoming increasingly popular, using NLP software to understand speech and respond appropriately. Virtual assistants like Siri and Google Home are now commonplace thanks to advancements in NLP software capabilities.”.
Spelling and grammar checking software also uses NLP to compare what you have typed to dictionaries and linguistic rules to identify errors and suggest improvements.
To an end user, NLP delivers an enriched consumer experience, ensuring computer responses match your expectations when running a search or conversing with a voice assistant. Common tools like search and spell check are now taken for granted.
For businesses, NLP enables us to quickly retrieve accurate information on the fly. Most businesses spend large amounts of time searching for data and NLP allows us to reduce that time significantly. In addition to time savings, NLP also delivers protection with spam filtering protecting businesses from unwanted email for example.
NLP can be extended beyond word recognition to sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis tools are able to discern whether statements are positive, negative or neutral. This allows organizations to use NLP to measure consumer sentiment, monitoring social media to categorize online communications by emotions of sadness, joy or anger for example. Organisations can then use this information to manage and respond to market perceptions.
NLP can be used to deliver social benefits, identifying individuals that may be experiencing grief, anger or sadness, allowing organizations to reach out to those in need. It can also be used to identify threats, monitor behavior and prevent a crisis.
NLP software delivers benefits for many industries including healthcare where NLP is unlocking the power of valuable unstructured data from physician’s notes and patient records. The legal industry is now able to process and analyze vast quantities of unstructured data to quickly gain valuable insights for cases. The finance and insurance industries are utilizing NLP software to prevent fraud detection. NLP software is also delivering highly efficient document and data management capabilities to a broad range of industries. Some of the greatest beneficiaries of NLP software are law enforcement, intelligence and cyber analyst professionals.
Benefits of NLP software for law enforcement, intelligence and cyber analysts
NLP software provides intelligence and analytics professionals the capability to go beyond structured data to quickly and easily analyze unstructured data. With unstructured data growing rapidly, NLP software tools will be increasingly essential for law enforcement, intelligence and cyber analysts to efficiently perform their roles.
How Sintelix uses natural language processing software
Sintelix uses advanced NLP software algorithms to harvest, load, extract, fuse and analyze vast amounts of text from a broad range of structured and unstructured sources. Sintelix understands relationships between words and recognizes entities, delivering entity and relationship extraction capabilities at high accuracy in multiple languages. With Sintelix, vast quantities of unstructured data can be combined to create accurate entity networks linked to topic analyzes and community structure decompositions.
The video below provides a detailed introduction to Sintelix.
Selecting the right natural language processing software for intelligence and analytics
There are a broad range of NLP software options available with vast differences in capabilities. There are a few important factors to consider when selecting the right NLP software for your organization:
- Ingestion capabilities – Ensure your NLP software solution will allow you to ingest text and data in the required formats. Sintelix will accept many formats and offers some advanced features including Optical Character Recognition (OCR), web and social media scraping and ingestion of documents in many formats.
- Extraction capabilities – Your NLP software solution should accurately extract relationship s and
- Language requirements – Ensure your NLP software will process data in the required languages, providing accurate entity and relationship extraction capabilities.. Sintelix supports a broad and growing range of languages.
- Search capabilities – A quality NLP software package will offer advanced search capabilities including federated search, multimodal search and alerts.
- Analysis tools – It should be quick and easy for you to gain actionable insights from your data. Sintelix offers built in visualization tools including the creation of network link graphs, timelines and tables.
- Configurability – Your NLP software should be configurable, allowing you to tailor the software to your needs and enhance the quality of results.
- Integrations – It may be beneficial to have an NLP software solution that easily integrates with your existing software. Sintelix offers out of the box integration with IBM i2 and SharePoint, along with additional integration capabilities via the Sintelix web services API.
Future capabilities of natural language processing software
NLP is rapidly advancing with bots responding more like real people over time. It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between bots and real human responses.
NLP is also integrating text with speech, image and video recognition capabilities. Future possibilities for intelligence are immense as we combine NLP with these technologies for advanced efficiency and insights.
Integration of smart devices also presents exciting opportunities for intelligence professionals, offering real time monitoring and data capture. Taking advantage of the prolific growth in available data presents exciting opportunities as we learn to integrate that data with NLP software. Future enhancements will allow us to move from real time data capture to real time insights, delivering significant benefits and efficiencies to data analysts and intelligence professionals.
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