Concept Challenges of natural language processing NLP

C o n c e p t C h a l l e n g e s o f n a t u r a l l a n g u a g e p r o c e s s i n g N L P


Challenges in NLP: NLP Explained

nlp challenges

More generally, the use of word clusters as features for machine learning has been proven robust for a number of languages across families [81]. Language data is by nature symbol data, which is different from vector data (real-valued vectors) that deep learning normally utilizes. Currently, symbol data in language are converted to vector data and then are input into neural networks, and the output from neural networks is further converted to symbol data. In fact, a large amount of knowledge for natural language processing is in the form of symbols, including linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar), lexical knowledge (e.g. WordNet) and world knowledge (e.g. Wikipedia).

These models can be employed to analyze and process vast amounts of textual data, such as academic papers, textbooks, and other course materials, to provide students with personalized recommendations for further study based on their learning requirements and preferences. In addition, NLP models can be used to develop chatbots and virtual assistants that offer on-demand support and guidance to students, enabling them to access help and information as and when they need it. There are a number of additional open-source initiatives aimed at contributing to improving NLP technology for underresourced languages. Mozilla Common Voice is a crowd-sourcing initiative aimed at collecting a large-scale dataset of publicly available voice data21 that can support the development of robust speech technology for a wide range of languages. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. Tatoeba22 is another crowdsourcing initiative where users can contribute sentence-translation pairs, providing an important resource to train machine translation models. Recently, Meta AI has released a large open-source machine translation model supporting direct translation between 200 languages, including a number of low-resource languages like Urdu or Luganda (Costa-jussà et al., 2022).

The collection of tasks can be broken down in various ways, providing more a fine-grained assessment of model capabilities. Such a breakdown may be particularly insightful if tasks or subsets of task data are categorised according to the behaviour they are testing. BIG-Bench, a recent collaborative benchmark for language model probing includes a categorisation by keyword.


The fifth step to overcome NLP challenges is to keep learning and updating your skills and knowledge. New research papers, models, tools, and applications are published and released every day. To stay on top of the latest trends and developments, you should follow the leading NLP journals, conferences, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and communities. You should also practice your NLP skills by taking online courses, reading books, doing projects, and participating in competitions and hackathons.

Paradigm shift in natural language processing – EurekAlert

Paradigm shift in natural language processing.

Posted: Thu, 07 Sep 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

In simpler terms, NLP allows computers to “read” and “understand” text or speech, much like humans do. It equips machines with the ability to process large amounts of natural language data, extract relevant information, and perform tasks ranging from language translation to sentiment analysis. SaaS text analysis platforms, like MonkeyLearn, allow users to train their own machine learning NLP models, often in just a few steps, which can greatly ease many of the NLP processing limitations above. Trained to the specific language and needs of your business, MonkeyLearn’s no-code tools offer huge NLP benefits to streamline customer service processes, find out what customers are saying about your brand on social media, and close the customer feedback loop. Both technical progress and the development of an overall vision for humanitarian NLP are challenges that cannot be solved in isolation by either humanitarians or NLP practitioners.

Natural language processing: A short primer

NLP has paved the way for digital assistants, chatbots, voice search, and a host of applications we’ve yet to imagine. Ambiguity in NLP refers to sentences and phrases that potentially have two or more possible interpretations. Models can be trained with certain cues that frequently accompany ironic or sarcastic phrases, like “yeah right,” “whatever,” etc., and word embeddings (where words that have the same meaning have a similar representation), but it’s still a tricky process.

In this evolving landscape of artificial intelligence(AI), Natural Language Processing(NLP) stands out as an advanced technology that fills the gap between humans and machines. In this article, we will discover the Major Challenges of Natural language Processing(NLP) faced by organizations. Understanding these challenges helps you explore the advanced NLP but also leverages its capabilities to revolutionize How we interact with machines and everything from customer service automation to complicated data analysis. An NLP processing model needed for healthcare, for example, would be very different than one used to process legal documents.

Lastly, we should be more rigorous in the evaluation on our models and rely on multiple metrics and statistical significance testing, contrary to current trends. When it comes to measuring performance, metrics play an important and often under-appreciated role. For classification tasks, accuracy or F-score metrics may seem like the obvious choice but—depending on the application—different types of errors incur different costs.

Finally, Lanfrica23 is a web tool that makes it easy to discover language resources for African languages. Past experience with shared tasks in English has shown international community efforts were a useful and efficient channel to benchmark and improve the state-of-the-art [150]. The NTCIR-11 MedNLP-2 [151] and NTCIR-12 MedNLPDoc [149] tasks focused on information extraction from Japanese clinical narratives to extract disease names and assign ICD10 codes to a given medical record.

For example, in data donation projects, various persons contribute or donate voice data which could qualify as personal information to a platform or database. Such a database could be subject of copyright protection but some of the contents of the database are considered personal information and therefore subject of privacy rights. In the context of digital technology and software, the Global South inclusion project has often been underpinned by a requirement of openness.

A consequence of this drastic increase in performance is that existing benchmarks have been left behind. Recent models “have outpaced the benchmarks to test for them” (AI Index Report 2021), quickly reaching super-human performance on standard benchmarks such as SuperGLUE and SQuAD. The fourth step to overcome NLP challenges is to evaluate your results and measure your performance.

Successful query translation (for a limited set of query terms) was achieved for French using a knowledge-based method [160]. Query translation relying on statistical machine translation was also shown to be useful for information retrieval through MEDLINE for queries in French, Spanish [161] or Arabic [162]. More recently, custom statistical machine translation of queries was shown to outperform off-the-shelf translation tools using queries in French, Czech and German on the CLEF eHealth 2013 dataset [163].

The authors would like to thank Galja Angelova and Svetla Boycheva for their knowledgeable insight on clinical NLP work on Bulgarian. As we enter an era where big data is pervasive and EHRs are adopted in many countries, there is an opportunity for clinical NLP to thrive beyond English, serving a global role. The entities extracted can then be used for inferring information at the sentence level [118] or record level, such as smoking status [119], thromboembolic disease status [7], thromboembolic risk [120], patient acuity [121], diabetes status [100], and cardiovascular risk [122]. If the past is any indication, the answer is no, but once again, it’s still too early to tell, and the Metaverse is a long way off. For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

By providing the ability to rapidly analyze large amounts of unstructured or semistructured text, NLP has opened up immense opportunities for text-based research and evidence-informed decision making (29–34). NLP is emerging as a potentially powerful tool for supporting the rapid identification of populations, interventions and outcomes of interest that are required for disease surveillance, disease prevention and health promotion. One recent study demonstrated the ability of NLP methods to predict the presence of depression prior to its appearance in the medical record (35). NLP-powered question-answering platforms and chatbots also carry the potential to improve health promotion activities by engaging individuals and providing personalized support or advice. Table 1 provides examples of potential applications of NLP in public health that have demonstrated at least some success.

Capturing the subtle nuances of human language and making accurate logical deductions remain significant challenges in NLP research. So, for building NLP systems, it’s important to include all of a word’s possible meanings and all possible synonyms. Text analysis models may still occasionally make mistakes, but the more relevant training data they receive, the better they will be able to understand synonyms.

In fact, MT/NLP research almost died in 1966 according to the ALPAC report, which concluded that MT is going nowhere. But later, some MT production systems were providing output to their customers (Hutchins, 1986) [60]. By this time, work on the use of computers for literary and linguistic studies had also started. As early as 1960, signature work influenced by AI began, with the BASEBALL Q-A systems (Green et al., 1961) [51].

Major Challenges of NLP

AI producers need to better consider the communities directly or indirectly providing the data used in AI development. Case studies explore tensions in reconciling the need for open and representative data while preserving community agency. The annotation verification and validation stage is essential to maintain the quality and reliability of an annotated dataset. This rigorous procedure should include internal quality control, where, for example, a Labeling Manager within the Innovatiana team supervises and reviews annotations to ensure their accuracy.

It came into existence to ease the user’s work and to satisfy the wish to communicate with the computer in natural language, and can be classified into two parts i.e. Natural Language Understanding or Linguistics and Natural Language Generation which evolves the task to understand and generate the text. Linguistics is the science of language which includes Phonology that refers to sound, Morphology word formation, Syntax sentence structure, Semantics syntax and Pragmatics which refers to understanding. Noah Chomsky, one of the first linguists of twelfth century that started syntactic theories, marked a unique position in the field of theoretical linguistics because he revolutionized the area of syntax (Chomsky, 1965) [23]. Further, Natural Language Generation (NLG) is the process of producing phrases, sentences and paragraphs that are meaningful from an internal representation.

nlp challenges

The transformer architecture has become the essential building block of modern NLP models, and especially of large language models such as BERT (Devlin et al., 2019), RoBERTa (Liu et al., 2019), and GPT models (Radford et al., 2019; Brown et al., 2020). Through these general pre-training tasks, language models learn to produce high-quality vector representations of words and text sequences, encompassing semantic subtleties, and linguistic qualities of the input. Individual language models can be trained (and therefore deployed) on a single language, or on several languages in parallel (Conneau et al., 2020; Minixhofer et al., 2022). To gain a better understanding of the semantic as well as multilingual aspects of language models, we depict an example of such resulting vector representations in Figure 2. As most of the world is online, the task of making data accessible and available to all is a challenge.

The biggest challenges in NLP and how to overcome them

For this reason, Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been increasingly impacting biomedical research [3–5]. Prime clinical applications for NLP include assisting healthcare professionals with retrospective studies and clinical decision making [6, 7]. There have been a number of success stories in various biomedical NLP applications in English [8–19].

In relation to NLP, it calculates the distance between two words by taking a cosine between the common letters of the dictionary word and the misspelt word. Using this technique, we can set a threshold and scope through a variety of words that have similar spelling to the misspelt word and then use these possible words above the threshold as a potential replacement word. Comet Artifacts lets you track and reproduce complex multi-experiment scenarios, reuse data points, and easily iterate on datasets. Everybody makes spelling mistakes, but for the majority of us, we can gauge what the word was actually meant to be. However, this is a major challenge for computers as they don’t have the same ability to infer what the word was actually meant to spell.

There have been a number of community-driven efforts to develop datasets and models for low-resource languages which can be used a model for future efforts. Masakhané aims at promoting resource and model development for African languages by involving a diverse set of contributors (from NLP professionals to speakers of low-resource languages) with an open and participatory philosophy. We have previously mentioned the Gamayun project, animated by similar principles and aimed at crowdsourcing resources for machine translation with humanitarian applications in mind (Öktem et al., 2020). Interestingly, NLP technology can also be used for the opposite transformation, namely generating text from structured information.

Such data is then analyzed and visualized as information to uncover critical business insights for scope of improvement, market research, feedback analysis, strategic re-calibration, or corrective measures. NLP is deployed in such domains through techniques like Named Entity Recognition to identify and cluster such sensitive pieces of entries such as name, contact details, addresses, and more of individuals. This use case involves extracting information from unstructured data, such as text and images. NLP can be used to identify the most relevant parts of those documents and present them in an organized manner. It is through this technology that we can enable systems to critically analyze data and comprehend differences in languages, slangs, dialects, grammatical differences, nuances, and more.

3. Words as vectors: From rule-based to statistical NLP

Secondly, we provide concrete examples of how NLP technology could support and benefit humanitarian action (Section 4). As we highlight in Section 4, lack of domain-specific large-scale datasets and technical standards is one of the main bottlenecks to large-scale adoption of NLP in the sector. This is why, in Section 5, we describe The Data Entry and Exploration Platform (DEEP2), a recent initiative (involving authors of the present paper) aimed at addressing these gaps. Multilingual corpora are used for terminological resource construction [64] with parallel [65–67] or comparable [68, 69] corpora, as a contribution to bridging the gap between the scope of resources available in English vs. other languages. More generally, parallel corpora also make possible the transfer of annotations from English to other languages, with applications for terminology development as well as clinical named entity recognition and normalization [70]. They can also be used for comparative evaluation of methods in different languages [71].

An NLP system can be trained to summarize the text more readably than the original text. This is useful for articles and other lengthy texts where users may not want to spend time reading the entire article or document. Human beings are often very creative while communicating and that’s why there are several metaphors, similes, phrasal verbs, and idioms. All ambiguities arising from these are clarified by Co-reference Resolution task, which enables machines to learn that it literally doesn’t rain cats and dogs but refers to the intensity of the rainfall.

  • Ultimately, considering the challenges of current and future real-world applications of language technology may provide inspiration for many new evaluations and benchmarks.
  • They tested their model on WMT14 (English-German Translation), IWSLT14 (German-English translation), and WMT18 (Finnish-to-English translation) and achieved 30.1, 36.1, and 26.4 BLEU points, which shows better performance than Transformer baselines.
  • In the Igbo and Setswana languages, these sayings include expressions that speak to how discussions about taking (or bringing) often revolve around other people’s property.
  • Natural Language Processing is a field of computer science, more specifically a field of Artificial Intelligence, that is concerned with developing computers with the ability to perceive, understand and produce human language.
  • Bi-directional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is a pre-trained model with unlabeled text available on BookCorpus and English Wikipedia.

However, there are more factors related to the Global South inclusion project to consider and grapple with. As an ideal or a practice, openness in artificial intelligence (AI) involves sharing, transparency, reusability, and extensibility that can enable third parties to access, use, and reuse data and to deploy and build upon existing AI models. This includes access to developed datasets and AI models for purposes of auditing and oversight, which can help to establish trust and accountability in AI when done well.

In other words, a computer might understand a sentence, and even create sentences that make sense. But they have a hard time understanding the meaning of words, or how language changes depending on context. One of the biggest challenges when working with social media is having to manage several APIs at the same time, as well as understanding the legal limitations of each country. For example, Australia is fairly lax in regards to web scraping, as long as it’s not used to gather email addresses. Natural Language Processing (NLP), a subfield of artificial intelligence, is a fascinating and complex area of study that focuses on the interaction between computers and human language. It involves teaching machines to understand, interpret, generate, and manipulate human language in a valuable way.

Transforming knowledge from biomedical literature into knowledge graphs can improve researchers’ ability to connect disparate concepts and build new hypotheses, and can allow them to discover work done by others which may be difficult to surface otherwise. Given that current models perform surprisingly well on in-distribution examples, it is time to shift our attention to the tail of the distribution, to outliers and atypical examples. Rather than considering only the average case, we should care more about the worst case and subsets of our data where our models perform the worst.

Remote devices, chatbots, and Interactive Voice Response systems (Bolton, 2018) can be used to track needs and deliver support to affected individuals in a personalized fashion, even in contexts where physical access may be challenging. A perhaps visionary domain of application is that of personalized health support to displaced people. It is known that speech and language can convey rich information about the physical and mental health state of individuals (see e.g., Rude et al., 2004; Eichstaedt et al., 2018; Parola et al., 2022). Both structured interactions and spontaneous text or speech input could be used to infer whether individuals are in need of health-related assistance, and deliver personalized support or relevant information accordingly. Pressure toward developing increasingly evidence-based needs assessment methodologies has brought data and quantitative modeling techniques under the spotlight.

(PDF) Integrating Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing in E-Learning Platforms: A Review of … – ResearchGate

(PDF) Integrating Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing in E-Learning Platforms: A Review of ….

Posted: Wed, 10 Jan 2024 08:00:00 GMT [source]

This feedback can help the student identify areas where they might need additional support or where they have demonstrated mastery of the material. Furthermore, the processing models can generate customized learning plans for individual students based on their performance and feedback. These plans may include additional practice activities, assessments, or reading materials designed to support the student’s learning goals. By providing students with these customized learning plans, these models have the potential to help students develop self-directed learning skills and take ownership of their learning process. This article contains six examples of how solves common natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language processing (NLP) challenges that can occur when customers interact with a company via a virtual agent). Many NLP tasks involve training machine learning models on labeled datasets to learn patterns and relationships in the data.

The state-of-the art neural translation systems employ sequence-to-sequence learning models comprising RNNs [4–6]. In our view, there are five major tasks in natural language processing, namely classification, matching, translation, structured prediction and the sequential decision process. Most of the problems in natural language processing can be formalized as these five tasks, as summarized in Table 1. In the tasks, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and even documents are usually viewed as a sequence of tokens (strings) and treated similarly, although they have different complexities. Over the last years, models in NLP have become much more powerful, driven by advances in transfer learning.

Thus, semantic analysis is the study of the relationship between various linguistic utterances and their meanings, but pragmatic analysis is the study of context which influences our understanding of linguistic expressions. Pragmatic analysis helps users to uncover the intended meaning of the text by applying contextual background knowledge. NLP models are rapidly becoming relevant to higher education, as they have the potential to transform teaching and learning by enabling personalized learning, on-demand support, and other innovative approaches (Odden et al., 2021). In higher education, NLP models have significant relevance for supporting student learning in multiple ways.

This is no small feat, as human language is incredibly complex and nuanced, with many layers of meaning that can be difficult for a machine to grasp. The language has four tones and each of these tones can change the meaning of a word. This is what we call homonyms, two or more words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings. This can make tasks such as speech recognition difficult, as it is not in the form of text data. Scores from these two phases will be combined into a weighted average in order to determine the final winning submissions, with phase 1 contributing 30% of the final score, and phase 2 contributing 70% of the final score.

The CLEF-ER 2013 evaluation lab [138] was the first multi-lingual forum to offer a shared task across languages. Our hope is that this effort will be the first in a series of clinical NLP shared tasks involving languages other than English. The establishment of the health NLP Center as a data repository for health-related language resources () will enable such efforts. Similar to other AI techniques, NLP is highly dependent on the availability, quality and nature of the training data (72).

Copyright and privacy rules may, as a result of their proprietary and rule-based nature, result in practices that discourage openness. Yet addressing the restrictive and proprietary nature of these rules through openness does not and should not mean that openness is adopted without attending to the nuances of specific concerns, contexts, and people. The intersectionality of these concerns necessitates a comprehensive approach to data governance, one that addresses the multifaceted challenges and opportunities presented by Africa’s evolving data landscape. On the other hand, communities focused on the commercial viability of the local language data in their custody would prefer a licensing regime that, while being open and permitting free access, leaves room for commercialization wherever feasible. However, the extent to which commercialization is feasible, is questionable particularly for materials such as data that may be hard to track once released and used as training data or in NLP/AI models.

Developing methods and models for low-resource languages is an important area of research in current NLP and an essential one for humanitarian NLP. Research on model efficiency is also relevant to solving these challenges, as smaller and more efficient models require fewer training resources, while also being easier to deploy in contexts with limited computational resources. A major challenge for these applications is the scarce availability of NLP technologies for small, low-resource languages. In displacement contexts, or when crises Chat GPT unfold in linguistically heterogeneous areas, even identifying which language a person in need is speaking may not be trivial. Here, language technology can have a significant impact in reducing barriers and facilitating communication between affected populations and humanitarians. To overcome the issue of data scarcity and support automated solutions to language detection and machine translation, Translators Without Borders (TWB) has launched a number of initiatives aimed at developing datasets and models for low-resource languages.

Entities, citizens, and non-permanent residents are not eligible to win a monetary prize (in whole or in part). Their participation as part of a winning team, if applicable, may be recognized when the results are announced. Similarly, if participating on their own, they may be eligible to win a non-cash recognition prize.

Datasets   Datasets should have been used for evaluation in at least one published paper besides

the one that introduced the dataset. Text standardization is the process of expanding contraction nlp challenges words into their complete words. Contractions are words or combinations of words that are shortened by dropping out a letter or letters and replacing them with an apostrophe.

nlp challenges

Sufficiently large datasets, however, are available for a very small subset of the world’s languages. This is a general problem in NLP, where the overwhelming majority of the more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide are under-represented or not represented at all. Languages with small speaker communities, highly analog societies, and purely oral languages are especially penalized, either because very few written resources are produced, or because the language lacks an orthography and no resources are available at all. This can also be the case for societies whose members do have access to digital technologies; people may simply resort to a second, more “dominant” language to interact with digital technologies.

Processing all those data can take lifetimes if you’re using an insufficiently powered PC. However, with a distributed deep learning model and multiple GPUs working in coordination, you can trim down that training time to just a few hours. Of course, you’ll also need to factor in time to develop the product from scratch—unless you’re using NLP tools that already exist.

In some situations, NLP systems may carry out the biases of their programmers or the data sets they use. It can also sometimes interpret the context differently due to innate biases, leading to inaccurate results. NLP techniques are used to extract structured information from unstructured text data. This includes identifying entities, such as names, dates, and locations and relationships between them, facilitating tasks like document summarization, entity recognition, and knowledge graph construction.

The system comprises language-dependent modules for processing death certificates in each of the supported languages. The result of language processing is standardized coding of causes of death in the form of ICD10 codes, independent of the languages and countries of origin. We show the advantages and drawbacks of each method, and highlight the appropriate application context. Finally, we identify major challenges and opportunities that will affect the impact of NLP on clinical practice and public health studies in a context that encompasses English as well as other languages. It helps a machine to better understand human language through a distributed representation of the text in an n-dimensional space.

That means that, no matter how much data there are for training, there always exist cases that the training data cannot cover. How to deal with the long tail problem poses a significant challenge to deep learning. Deep learning is also employed in generation-based natural language dialogue, in which, given an utterance, the system automatically generates a response and the model is trained in sequence-to-sequence learning [7]. It has the potential to revolutionize many areas of our lives, from how we interact with technology, to how we understand and process information. As we continue to make progress in this field, we can look forward to a future where machines can understand and generate human language as well as, if not better than, humans.

nlp challenges

The wide variety of entity types, new entity mentions, and variations in entity representations make accurate Named Entity Recognition a complex challenge that requires sophisticated techniques and models. The Python programing language provides a wide range of tools and libraries for performing specific NLP tasks. Many of these NLP tools are in the Natural Language Toolkit, or NLTK, an open-source collection of libraries, programs and education resources for building NLP programs. This is where Shaip comes in to help you tackle all concerns in requiring training data for your models. With ethical and bespoke methodologies, we offer you training datasets in formats you need. The software would analyze social media posts about a business or product to determine whether people think positively or negatively about it.

In the era of deep learning, such large-scale datasets have been credited as one of the pillars driving progress in research, with fields such as NLP or biology witnessing their ‘ImageNet moment’. This paper does not seek to discredit the principle of openness; rather it seeks to argue for a practice of openness that addresses the concerns of a diverse range of stakeholders and that does not threaten their agency or autonomy. The experiences shared in this research show that openness has contributed to the growth of grassroot movements for AI development in Africa. However, to be meaningful, the inclusion project should consider and address the ways in which exclusion or exploitation could happen amid such inclusion attempts. There must be recognition that, while these communities share an affinity in terms of the same kinds of local language data, their interests and objectives may differ. Inherent in this recognition is also an acknowledgment of the diversity of the data sources.

Katerina Monroe
Katerina Monroe

@katerinam •  More Posts by Katerina

Congratulations on the award, it's well deserved! You guys definitely know what you're doing. Looking forward to my next visit to the winery!