What is Natural Language Processing?

Natural language processing (or NLP) is the ability of a computer program to understand human speech as it is spoken or written and goes by different names including text analytics, data mining, or computational linguistics.. Using NLP, computers analyze, understand, and derive meaning from human language in a smart and useful way. NLP is considered a challenging problem in computer science.

“Apart from common word processor operations that treat text like a mere sequence of symbols, NLP considers the hierarchical structure of language: several words make a phrase, several phrases make a sentence and, ultimately, sentences convey ideas,” John Rehling, an NLP expert at Meltwater Group, said in How Natural Language Processing Helps Uncover Social Media Sentiment. “By analyzing language for its meaning, NLP systems have long filled useful roles, such as correcting grammar, converting speech to text and automatically translating between languages.”

Matt Kiser, a Product Marketing Manager at Algorithmia, in the blog Introduction to Natural Language Processing (NLP) 2016 describes the relationship between NLP and machine learning. “NLP algorithms are typically based on machine learning algorithms. Instead of hand-coding large sets of rules, NLP can rely on machine learning to automatically learn these rules by analyzing a set of examples (i.e. a large corpus, like a book, down to a collection of sentences), and making a statistical inference. In general, the more data analyzed, the more accurate the model will be.”

WeSpeke is in partnership with Dow Jones & Company to provide English lessons to language learners around the world, a market estimated at over one billion people. WeSpeke will use its proprietary and patent-pending Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to create English lessons using world-class content from The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones brands. The lessons will be sold through subscriptions to Newsmart, a Dow Jones website powered by WeSpeke technology.

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