Hire the best Natural Language Processing developers

Check out Natural Language Processing developers with the skills you need for your next job.

Clients rate Natural Language Processing developers
Rating is 4.8 out of 5.
4.8/5
based on 2,337 client reviews
Cope T.
$200/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Contract Law
  • Contract Drafting
  • Legal
  • Legal Research
  • Data Mining
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Legal Consulting
  • Contract Negotiation
  • The Florida Bar
  • Transportation & Warehousing
  • Drafting
  • Employment Consideration
  • Business Consulting

I am a contracts attorney with over 22 years of experience at General Electric, Teachers College Columbia University, and Siemens Energy, where I've drafted, negotiated, and executed billions of dollars of large, complex, cutting-edge technology contracts across the globe. I am an expert. Currently, my practice focus spans a wide range of agreements including: ● influencer ●partnering ● IP licensing ● technology transfer ● website terms of use ● CCPA & GDPR privacy policies ● IT outsourcing ● cloud services ● residential and commercial construction ● subcontractor ● education ● mergers and acquisitions ● employment ● commercial lease ●...

Elena S.
$95/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Chatbot Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Python
  • Data Science
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Dialogflow
  • ManyChat
  • Chatbot
  • Bot Development

Chatbot Developer & NLP Engineer with 6 years of experience building clever systems that understand human language. #Rasa #DialogFlow #ManyChat I am skilled in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and work on a wide range of projects involving Chatbot Development, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technology. I have BSc in Computational Linguistics and MSc in Artificial Intelligence and have been working as an NLP Engineer / Chatbot Developer for the last 6 years. I can help you with: • Consultation. I can share with you my knowledge and expertise in the area of chatbot development and NLP,...

Pradip N.
$50/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • RESTful API
  • Deep Learning
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Data Analysis
  • Docker
  • Machine Learning
  • Flask
  • Python
  • PyTorch
  • pandas
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Deep Neural Network

Solving real-world problems using NLP, Transformers, and GPT-3. 7+ years of experience in (Machine Learning, NLP, Big Data, API, and Back-End Development). Built end-to-end machine learning systems using Natural Language Processing and MLOps. ✅ Successfully Completed Projects: 1. Text Classification, Document Classification 2. Sentiment Analysis, Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis 3. Custom Named Entity Recognition 4. Question Answering System 5. Topic Modeling 6. Extract product specifications from product descriptions using GPT-3 7. GPT-3 for intent detection. 8. GPT-3 for writing personalized emails. 9. GPT-3 Prompt design, GPT-3...

Usama S.
$50/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Python
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Django
  • Machine Learning
  • Supervised Learning
  • Unsupervised Learning
  • Technical Project Management
  • Agile Project Management
  • Flask
  • Model Optimization
  • Classification
  • Cluster Computing
  • Model Tuning
  • Generative Model

Hello, I am an expert in GPT3 and full stack web development, with extensive experience in designing product infrastructures, developing and deploying AI models and large scale websites. My technology stack includes: – Python | Flask | Django – React JS | Next JS | Gatsby – Artificial Intelligence | Machine Learning | Natural Language Processing – Data Science | Data Mining – OpenAI | GPT3 | GPT2 – Text Classification | Text Conversion | Text Generation – Chatbots | Q&A Bots | Data Extraction I am committed to delivering quality work and always excited to work on challenging and stimulating opportunities. Need help getting your work...

Hisham H.
$125/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Python
  • Data Visualization
  • SQL
  • pandas
  • Deep Learning
  • Keras
  • Plotly
  • PyTorch
  • TensorFlow

A senior NLP Data Scientist with many years of experience working with clients from North America, Europe and Asia, as well as training Masters and PhD candidates in machine learning, text mining, and cutting edge deep learning for NLP, including (but not limited to) explaining the most advanced NLP research papers, such as "Attention is All You Need", "BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformer)", and many other top-notch papers in the field.

Tatiana C.
$60/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Flask
  • Deployment Automation
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Science
  • Python
  • TensorFlow
  • Deep Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Google Cloud Platform

With 10+ years of professional experience, I offer the most suitable solutions that reflect project specifics and clients' needs. I have proven success in developing algorithms and models that utilize Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Statistical Modeling, Data Analysis, Predictive Analysis, Data Manipulation, Data Mining, Data Visualization, and Business Intelligence, as well as solid experience in developing and deploying proof-of-concept NLP-based web applications. Qualifications: ✓ coding skills in Python (scripting, Jupyter, google Colab) ✓ Python data analytics libraries (scikit-learn, pandas, numpy) ✓ Natural Language...

Ronit K.
$50/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science
  • Python
  • Computer Vision
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Quantum Computing
  • Financial Forecasting
  • Econometrics

Machine Learning Engineer with a keen interest in Deep Learning, Quantum Computing, and Data Privacy. I have multiple publications and I've been working with enterprises on ML/DL projects for about 7 years now and I keep myself updated on the latest research in the field. I've led teams on multiple projects, architecting them on building fault-tolerant end-to-end ML/DL systems. The projects have spanned multiple industries from Law, Power, Art, Music, and Finance to Economics. I'm open to both ML/DL projects as well as Tech Architect/Project Management positions. Here's some of my main skills: - Economic/Financial time series analysis...

Max G.
$50/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Chatbot Development
  • Bot Development
  • Artificial Intelligence

Co-founded the chatbot development company to bring custom AI bots to startups and Fortune's 500 enterprises. Developed an Enterprise chatbot platform to help efficiently manage, train, and customize chatbots. Managing a chatbot company for the last 4 years: #1 AI Developer in the world in 2017 & 2018 by Clutch, 100+ chatbots built, 50+ happy clients from 14 countries, 10+ Fortune 500 companies working with BotsCrew Have 3+ years of experience in Chatbot Development for FB Messenger, Slack, Skype, Kik, Line, SMS, Telegram, Cisco Spark, Web, and WhatsApp. Broad expertise in Natural language processing (NLP) and NLP engines:...

Jan P.
$85/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Python
  • TensorFlow
  • PyTorch
  • Decisions
  • Finance
  • Data Visualization
  • Google BERT
  • Business Process Model & Notation
  • Keras
  • Deep Learning
  • Data Science
  • Classification
  • Tableau

Freelance machine learning engineer and data scientist with 20 years experience in capital markets, commercial sales and insurance industries and five years of applied machine learning experience. Passionate about providing actionable insights to benefit business using machine learning. I have been working in investment banking for two decades. During this time, I have worked with nine of the world’s top 40 banks by market capitalization, helping them automate business analytics using data mining and, more recently, machine learning. Commercial machine learning: • Finance: classification of legal documents for financial compliance;...

Pablo R.
$70/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Ruby
  • .NET Framework
  • C#
  • C++
  • Machine Learning
  • Forex Trading
  • MetaTrader 4
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Stock Option Agreement
  • Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Java
  • Python

To deliver quality software and value to our customers. At your services.

Satyansh S.
$48/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Bot Development
  • Chatbot Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • C#
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • JavaScript
  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • Live Chat Software
  • Chatbot

4+ years of experience in Chat BOT development on Microsoft bot framework with cognitive services and Artificial intelligence engines. I worked on C# and .NET platforms and have expertise in Microsoft Azure cloud and services. I have worked for chat bot projects related to Human Resources, Retail Industry and Market Shares sectors, customer service, Recruitment processes, Knowledge management systems, Azure management bot, meeting time and room booking scenarios. I have implemented Cognitive services in my chat bots like : Emotion API (for detecting emotions from pictures), Computer vision API(for recognizing objects ), Custom computer...

Stanislav B.
$25/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Python
  • scikit-learn
  • Machine Learning
  • Statistics
  • Keras
  • TensorFlow
  • SQL
  • Natural Language Toolkit
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Web Scraper
  • Web Crawling
  • Data Science Consultation
  • Deep Learning
  • Neural Network

I'm a data scientist with 3 years of hands-on experience in machine learning and a strong math background (MSc. in Applied Mathematics). I can help you to build the whole ML pipeline from the scratch or improve your solutions. Dealing with various tasks, such as NLP, Time Series Analysis, Computer Vision, GANs, developing bots for Stocks or/and Crypto markets, deploying APIs for ML models, etc. Skills: - Languages: Python - Frameworks: PyTorch, TensorFlow, Keras, Flask - Libraries: Numpy, Pandas, Scikit-Learn, Matplotlib, Plotly, SciPy, NLTK, LightGBM, XGBoost - DB: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB - Version control: GIT - Other: Docker,...

Abdessalem B.
$90/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Data Scraping
  • Python
  • Data Mining
  • Data Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Natural Language Generation
  • Chatbot Development
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Google BERT
  • Scripting
  • Data Science
  • pandas
  • Computational Linguistics

Your project involves any sort of data ? I can help! You have raw / uncleaned data ? I'll clean it and preprocess it for you! You don't have data in the first place ? I'll scrape / annotate it for you! You want to train a deep learning model using this data ? I'll train and experiment with state of the art models to get the utmost performance! You have data, but not sure what's possible ? I'll look at it, and give clear and precise recommendations on what's the best course of action! You have a model trained and built but you can't use it ? I'll build an API endpoint for using it, and abstract all the ML complexities from your...

Michael S.
$79/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Software Architecture & Design
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Neural Network
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Feature Extraction
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Solution Architecture
  • Content Writing
  • YouTube

𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝟯𝟱 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀, 𝟭𝟬𝟬%+ 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 15+ years of experience in NLP, NLU, NLG Easy to work with, professional approach Competitive rates, flexible budgets Worked with small startups and large companies References from AI opinion leaders Unique Data-driven methodology CONSULTATIONS, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT OF: Proof of concept (POC), Prototypes, Demos, Production-ready products, like: Complex AI application for text understanding Data-rich systems for text processing Knowledge representation systems Text...

Hamza L.
$80/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • PyTorch
  • TensorFlow
  • DevOps
  • RESTful API
  • Flask
  • Deep Learning
  • Data Science
  • Python
  • scikit-learn
  • Amazon SageMaker
  • Researcher
  • Docker
  • Data Warehousing

⭐️ Author of "Practical Machine Learning" I am the author of the book titled "Practical Machine Learning," which is available publicly. The link and the description of the book are given further below in "Other Experiences." I believe if one has the right programming and problem-solving ability, then no problem is unsolvable. I love solving challenging problems. Deploying my strong algorithmic, software engineering, and mathematical background, I will enthusiastically work on your Machine Learning projects. ❇️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 👍 “He was very cooperative and also have good communication skills. He was also very helpful with bringing his...

Ahmed A.
$125/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Python
  • Deep Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Keras
  • scikit-learn
  • Data Science
  • Data Science Consultation
  • Data Visualization
  • Amazon EC2

IN 𝐓𝐎𝐏 27 Data Scientists on Upwork 𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 PLUS Data Solutions Expert 𝟱+ 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 of experience in the data industry, building small to large scale data solution pipelines for countless industries. 💡 Custom & Interactive 𝐃𝐀𝐒𝐇𝐁𝐎𝐀𝐑𝐃𝐒 and 𝐖𝐄𝐁 𝐀𝐏𝐏𝐒 💡 Efficient and Powerful machine learning models 💡 Data Analysis and Story Building 💡 ML empowered 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐀𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬 💡 𝐍𝐋𝐏, 𝐂𝐕, 𝐃𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 Implantations 💡 ETL 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐏𝐢𝐩𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 Creation 💡 𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗔 𝗖𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚 & 𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗔𝗚𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗧 I work with the following tools and technologies: Python, Sci-Kit Learn, Django,...

Faizan S.
$70/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Python
  • R
  • Data Mining
  • Deep Learning
  • Data Science
  • SQL
  • PyTorch
  • TensorFlow
  • C++

I have over 8 years of experience in machine learning and data science. Through my education and experience, I have developed strong background in linear algebra, probability, statistics, programming, and, machine learning. Once you hire me, I will do my best to create value for your business. Detailed experience: + Natural language processing and text mining + Developing, training, testing, and deploying machine/deep learning models + Reinforcement learning + Computer vision + Algorithmic trading + Automatic speech recognition and generation + Linear/non-linear programming + ETL and data extraction via API + Data visualization and...

Mykola M.
$100/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Apache Spark
  • Data Engineering
  • Python
  • Scala
  • Software Architecture & Design
  • Tesseract OCR
  • PyTorch
  • Open Neural Network Exchange
  • TensorFlow
  • Computer Vision

I'm a Scala/Python software developer with machine learning experience. I have experience in software development for about 15 years. I have a master's degree in Applied Mathematics. Areas of expertise include Machine learning, Big Data, ETL, Web Development, general IT expertise. Work well independently and within a teams. Have 5 years experience as team / technical lead. I'm leading team of 6-7 senior developers and about 10 projects in R&D area. My main areas of expertise are: - Python, Scala - Spark, Spark Structured Streaming, Spark ML - Xgboost, Scipy, Numpy, Scikit-learn - Django, Flask, Celery

Jonathan E.
$65/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Python
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Modeling
  • Tableau
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Mining
  • NLTK
  • NumPy
  • Python Pandas
  • Model Tuning
  • Classification

I'm a PhD student with 6 years experience as data scientist designing, implementing and developing end-to-end machine learning systems for telecommunication, financials and insurance companies. Nowadays, my main interest is to look for ways to develop solutions in the area of natural language processing (NLP), text mining, data visualization and deep learning. Skills summary: ➤ ETL knowledge to extract, transform and load data ➤ Data wrangling & scraping ➤ Exploratory data analysis ➤ Feature engineering ➤ Building machine learning and statistical models (both supervised and unsupervised) ➤ Tuning models ➤ Data reporting and visualization...

Zakaria H.
$42/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • UiPath
  • Chatbot Development
  • RabbitMQ
  • spaCy
  • Flask
  • Gensim
  • MongoDB
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Docker
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Python
  • NLTK
  • Elasticsearch

Smart, Fluent in English, and Full-time Freelancer (40 hrs/week), Machine Learning Engineer with 4 years full-time professional experience, I am specializing in : - Natural Language Processing (SpaCy, Nltk, Bert, Gensim ...): use of HuggingFace language models (Bert, AraBert...), SpaCy for NER (Named Entities Recognition), Gensim to train and build custom Word2Vec models and Topic modeling, - AI Chatbot developer with Rasa / Python, - Backend dev with Python: used to build Flask APIs, use of MongoDB or Mysql as database, Docker for dockerizing the app, - Basic DevOps skills to deploy and maintain the app running on a server, I am working...

Matthew T.
$75/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Supervised Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Python
  • SQL
  • TensorFlow
  • PyTorch

Machine Learning/NLP engineer who enjoys problem-solving and creating practical solutions. My passion lies in the implementation of research while ensuring an useful and scalable product.

Jason W.
$100/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Web Application
  • Database Architecture
  • Deep Learning Modeling
  • API
  • Model View Presenter
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • MERN Stack
  • TensorFlow
  • Recommendation System
  • Chatbot
  • Computer Vision
  • MEAN Stack
  • Python
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Neural Network

I lead a team of data scientists specializing in Machine Learning model development, ML Ops & deployment. I have extensive practical knowledge of MVP development lifecycle as well.

Salman K.
$40/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Android App Development
  • iOS Development
  • Swift
  • PHP
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Java
  • Firebase
  • Node.js
  • SQL
  • Data Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Flutter
  • React Native
  • In-App Advertising

✅ Top Rated Plus, 100% Job Success with 5 Star Feedbacks ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Welcome to my profile, thanks for your kind attention. I would like to introduce myself in short. 1. Education: • Bachelors in Engineering from FAST NU, Lahore. • MPhil in Computer Science (Cloud Computing) from University of the Punjab, Lahore. 2. Experience: • 7+ years of experience in Software Design and Development. 3. Expertise: • Big Data • Real Time Saleable Applications • Mobile App Development • Web Development • Cloud Computing • Data Scraping • IOT Solutions • Machine Learning • Computer Vision 4. Frameworks/Libraries: • AWS (EC2, S3, Lambda, IOT, Green Grass,...

Mykola M.
$120/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Python
  • Machine Learning
  • AI
  • Google BERT
  • Natural Language Generation
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Neural Network
  • Deep Learning
  • Supervised Learning

If you need fast & quality results, if you need a partner you can trust and rely on, look no further. With help of the latest & most powerful machine learning, deep learning, and web development frameworks, I will bring your product idea into real web service or API solution scalable on cloud servers. Together we'll accomplish your milestones much faster than you thought possible. I am a data scientist with deep industry experience. I have led projects that include natural language processing, computer vision, variety of machine learning methods for predictive modelling, etc. I have expert knowledge of mathematics, statistics, probability,...

Memoona T.
$45/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Python
  • Data Science
  • TensorFlow
  • Keras
  • Researcher
  • C++
  • GitHub
  • Scripting
  • Convolutional Neural Network
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Neural Network
  • Computer Vision
  • Model Optimization

Welcome to my profile! I am Memoona Tahira, and I am a Machine Learning Engineer. I transitioned to freelance work from academia, with a MS in Computer Science and published research. I love to work with clients who have specific deliverables for their machine and deep learning tasks, preferably to build an MVP. My interest lies in: * Digital Image Processing * Deep Learning for Computer Vision (Image and Video), * Deep Learning with Speech and Audio * Time Series analysis for financial data For all my projects, my focus is on cleaning and preparing data for a data-centric approach, and then creating custom models that are ready for...

Rafael A.
$65/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Deep Neural Network
  • TensorFlow
  • R
  • Python
  • Project Risk Management
  • Data Science
  • Data Analysis
  • Neural Network
  • Statistics

I have implemented Deep learning models for image recognition, Text Analytics, Recommender Systems, and Search Engines. I have a solid working knowledge of NLP, Text Classification, word2vec, Sent2Vec, Transfer learning, and machine translation. I have nearly a decade of personal and professional experience in ML. I have used PySpark, PysSaprk Stream, and Spark ML for Data pipelines and Machine learning Models development. Convolution Neural Networks (CNN), Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN) with Long Short Term Memory (LSTM), Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Reinforcement Learning, Sequence to Sequence models (Chatbots), Search...

Dao S.
$35/hr
  • Trophy Icon Natural Language Processing
  • API Integration
  • Python
  • PHP
  • PyTorch
  • CMS Development
  • PostgreSQL
  • Django
  • Keras
  • React
  • Payment Gateway Integration
  • MySQL
  • Chatbot Development
  • Deep Learning
  • Docker Compose

Having 5 years implementing responsive web UI using Angular, Reactjs, Bootstrap Having 5 years implementing back-end system using various programming languages and frameworks such as Python, Django, Wagtail, PHP, Laravel, CodeIgniter, Drupal, Wordpress, Node.js, Express.js, Sails.js, Mysql, Postgresql Competence in writing complex raw SQL query for complex data processing and performance Having implemented sophisticated algorithms for complex business logics or functions. Having implemented system using Docker, Docker Compose, DigitalOcean cloud platform Experienced with Nginx, Redis, Websocket, Asyncio, Scrapy Rasa framework to build a...

$NaN/hr

How it works

1. Post a job (it’s free)

Tell us what you need. Provide as many details as possible, but don’t worry about getting it perfect.

2. Talent comes to you

Get qualified proposals within 24 hours, and meet the candidates you’re excited about. Hire as soon as you’re ready.

3. Collaborate easily

Use Upwork to chat or video call, share files, and track project progress right from the app.

4. Payment simplified

Receive invoices and make payments through Upwork. Only pay for work you authorize.

Trusted by 5M+ businesses

Natural Language Processing: Turning Words Into Data

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has long been one of the holy grails of computer science. While we all know that computers are better than humans at making sense of highly structured information, there are still some important areas where humans are undeniably better than machines. Understanding language is one of those areas.

For humans, understanding language is so natural we usually don’t even have to make a conscious effort to do it. In reality, though, processing language and turning it into meaningful information is an extremely complex and difficult task. Without consciously thinking about it, we correct grammar mistakes, resolve ambiguities, and infer meaning that isn’t explicitly stated.

Teaching computers to perform these tasks (even imperfectly) has huge implications in many areas of our lives, from the way we design products to the way we research cures for diseases to the way we get directions. In this article, we’re going to explore what Natural Language Processing is, how it works, and how it’s being paired with Big Data to solve problems in a wide array of fields.

What is NLP?

Many of us already encounter NLP in our daily lives. It’s the technology that allows us to ask our smartphones for directions or help recognizing the song playing on the radio. It’s also the technology that powers the automated call centers we often reach when calling customer service.

The key to Natural Language Processing is taking data as complex and context-dependent as human language and translating it into the kind of structure that a computer can understand and act upon. But how do you do that? The earliest efforts at teaching computers how to understand human language looked a lot like a language class: Scientists tried to teach computers how language worked by explicitly teaching it the rules of grammar and syntax. But the way people actually speak and use language often doesn’t follow the rules. Misspellings, idioms, slang, and common grammatical errors may not prevent a human from understanding the meaning of a text, but computers aren’t able to understand when the rules aren’t followed to the letter.

This has changed with the advent of machine learning. Machine learning refers to the use of a combination of real-world and human-supplied characteristics (called “features”) to train computers to identify patterns and make predictions. In the case of NLP, using a real-world data set lets the computer and machine learning expert create algorithms that better capture how language is actually used in the real world, rather than on how the rules of syntax and grammar say it should be used. This allows computers to devise more sophisticated—and more accurate—models than would be possible solely using a static set of instructions from human developers.

For example, a typical NLP task might involve identifying the names of people in Facebook posts. The first step of the process is feature extraction, which involves identifying meaningful characteristics of something that set it apart from something else. To do this, we’d start with a training set of real Facebook posts. We might say that a name usually begins with a capital letter and is likely to be found in a book of baby names. Using these feature vectors, we would train the computer to recognize first names, taking all of our different features into account. (For instance, if the name “jason” appears uncapitalized, the computer might still recognize it as a name because it appears in our book of baby names.) Then, using a different set of Facebook posts, we’d test our computer’s model. If it successfully distinguishes names from non-names, we’ve built a successful model.

NLP and Big Data

An important part of the Big Data revolution has been the rise in the use of unstructured data. Thanks in large part to systems like Hadoop and Spark, we now have the ability to quickly process huge troves of unstructured data that in the past would have just been left sitting in boxes and warehouses.

While many NLP tasks may not require the same kind of real-time streaming analytics as some other Big Data tasks, it does require facility working with large, unstructured datasets, whether in the form of text pulled from webpages, Facebook posts, search queries, text messages, or more.

Open-source tools for NLP

Some of the most common tasks for NLP include tokenization (splitting text into words and terms), tagging various parts of speech, creating parse trees (which are like sentence diagrams), and classifying some terms as named entities (for example, grouping together names of people, days of the week, or cities). From these basic tasks, it’s possible to create more sophisticated applications, like the ones we’ll explore in the next section.

Before we look at NLP’s more advanced applications, it’s worth noting that there are a number of open-source libraries that support both basic and more advanced NLP tasks. For example, Pattern and NLTK are written in Python and provide a number of classes and modules that make it easy to work with text. NLTK is designed to be an intuitive, practical, and modular tool for NLP. It’s well documented, with two books and an active community in both academia and industry. Pattern is billed as a web-mining module, and includes several tools that NLTK doesn’t, like a web crawler, HTML parser, and a number of APIs for major web services. Pattern also provides modules for graphic data structures that show the relationship between nodes representing different words or concepts.

Stanford CoreNLP is a Java-based suite of tools that provides similar functionality to NLTK. Described as an “integrated framework,” CoreNLP is designed to make it easy to apply multiple tools to a single piece of text.

Applications

One of the trends in Big Data has been to recognize the value of information in all kinds of places we wouldn’t normally think to look, and NLP is no different. Organizations are just beginning to understand the enormous potential value stored in all the text we generate on a daily basis, in the form of emails, text messages, social media posts, search queries, medical and legal records, and more.

By leveraging NLP, many organizations are able to create new value and improve efficiency. Here are a few of the more advanced applications of NLP, and how organizations are using them.

Automatic translation allows a computer to quickly translate a complex piece of text from one language into another. Because different languages are highly nuanced and idiosyncratic, this is an area where machine learning techniques are extremely useful. This is the technology that allows Google to automatically translate pages from French or Urdu or Mandarin into English. By looking at the way language is actually used across millions of webpages, the computer is able to offer much more accurate (and expressive) translations than if it were simply using a dictionary.

  • Automatic summarization is the process of creating a short summary of a longer piece of text that captures the most relevant information. Think of the abstracts or executive summaries found at the beginnings of research papers and longer reports. This can be achieved by extracting key sentences and combining them into a concise paragraph, or by generating an original summary from keywords and phrases.
  • Natural Language Generation (NLG) combines data analysis and text generation to take data and turn it into language that humans can understand. While it’s been used to create jokes and poems, it’s also being used to generate news articles based on stock market events and weather reports based on meteorological data.
  • Speech processing is the specific technology that allows virtual assistants to translate verbal commands into discrete actions for the computer to perform. This technology allows Amazon Echo to translate your request to hear some dance music into a specific Pandora search, or Siri to turn your question about local hot spots into a Yelp search for dinner recommendations.
  • Topic segmentation and information retrieval refer (respectively) to the process of dividing text into meaningful units and identifying meaningful pieces of information based on a search query. You enjoy the benefits of this technology every time you execute a Google search. Taken together, these two techniques are also being used by several legal tech companies to create searchable databases of legal opinions, allowing lawyers to more efficiently find relevant case law without having to scour briefs for hours on end.
  • Biomedical text mining is a subset of text mining used by biomedical researchers to glean insights from massive databases of specialized research. Some of its applications include identifying relationships between different proteins and genes, as well as assisting in the creation of new hypotheses.
  • Sentiment analysis is routinely used by social analytics companies to put numbers behind the feelings expressed on social media or the web in order to generate actionable insights. Marketers use sentiment analysis to inform brand strategies, while customer service and product departments can use it to identify bugs, product enhancements, and possible new features.

These are just a few of the ways organizations are using NLP to derive value from text. As with any machine learning project, you need clearly defined business goals that your predictions will serve. From there, you can define the data set that will be most relevant and then develop a training set which the computer will use to build an algorithm. Building a machine learning system is a complex undertaking, requiring data scientists to extract features and train algorithms. Depending on the size of the datasets you’re working with and your specific business requirements, you might also want a database expert to manage document storage, or data engineers to design and manage a data pipeline, especially if you need to analyze a constant stream of new data in or near real time. Ready to get your Natural Language Processing project off the ground? Build the team you need with freelancers on Upwork today.

View less
Schedule a Call