Applications of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and NLP Datasets

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Robert Koch

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NLP data sets

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of Artificial Intelligence. NLP deals with the interaction between humans and computers using natural language.
Datasets for NLP are used to train models that can then be used for various tasks such as text classification, entity recognition, and machine translation.
There are many different applications of NLP. In this article, we will take a look at some of these applications, focusing in particular on the importance of NLP datasets for training applications and datasets for NLP projects.

Table of Contents

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the term used to describe how language is processed by machines. NLP is a subarea of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In everyday life, more and more people are coming into contact with programs that use NLP. For example, many of us use Alexa, OK Google, and chatbots. Nowadays, people communicate with machines more frequently. Daily use results in more and larger datasets for NLP projects. Additionally, NLP is being used in an increasing number of fields.

Computational linguistics, i.e. the rule-based modeling of human language, is combined with statistical, machine learning and deep learning models to form NLP. Using these technologies, computers are now able to process human speech in the form of text or audio data and fully understand what is being said or written. Importantly, this includes understanding the intentions and feelings of the speaker or writer.

NLP is used to analyze text so that computers can understand human language. Real-world applications such as automatic text summarization, sentiment analysis, topic extraction, named entity recognition, parts-of-speech tagging, are enabled by this human-computer interaction. Furthermore, machine translation, text mining and automatic question answering are common applications for NLP.

Informative Video on NLP

History of NLP

The history of NLP dates back to the 1950s, when the first computer programs were developed to understand and generate human language. Alan Turing proposed what is now known as the Turing test as a standard of intelligence in a 1950 article titled Computing Machinery and Intelligence. In the decades that followed, NLP underwent constant development, with advances in computer technology and linguistics opening up new possibilities.

In the 1960s, Chomsky developed the theory of universal grammar, which was influential in the development of NLP systems. In the 1970s, the first machine translation systems emerged and research into semantic analysis and text comprehension took off. Unsurprisingly, with the advent of the internet in the 1990s and the associated explosion of text data, the importance of NLP continued to grow. Subsequently, statistical language models were developed and deep learning revolutionized NLP research from the 2000s onwards.

Common Applications of NLP

Tools for natural language processing can be used to automate time-consuming tasks, analyze data, find insights and gain a competitive edge.

  • Autocorrect
    Automatic data checking, known as autocorrect, is often used in word processing programs and text editing interfaces for smartphones and tablet computers. Software that performs autocorrection and grammar checking relies heavily on natural language processing. By detecting grammar, spelling and sentence structure problems, NLP is used to help you improve your texts.
  • Speech Recognition
    Natural language processing is used in speech recognition technologies to convert spoken language into a machine-readable format. Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant all require speech recognition technology.
  • Sentiment Analysis
    Sentiment analysis, often known as opinion mining, is a technique used in natural language processing (NLP) to determine the emotional undertone of a document. Businesses frequently do sentiment analysis on textual data to track the perception of their brands and products in customer reviews and to better understand their target market.
  • Chatbots
    Internet applications known as Chatbots mimic human conversation. In order to simulate real-world interactions and respond to customer inquiries, they adhere to a set of pre-designed rules. Additionally, chatbots employ artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) interpret these exchanges almost as well as a human.


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Audio Datasets

How does NLP work?

Beginning with basic word processing and moving on to recognizing complex phrase meanings, natural language processing is divided into five main stages or phases.

  • Step 1: Lexical Analysis
    The first step in NLP is lexical or morphological analysis. It involves identifying and examining word structures. The term lexicon refers to a language’s body of words and expressions. A text file is dissected into paragraphs, phrases, and words using lexical analysis. In this stage, the source code is scanned as a stream of characters and transformed into readable lexemes. There are paragraphs, sentences, and words scattered throughout the entire book.
  • Step 2: Syntax Analysis
    A method for examining links between words, arranging words and evaluating grammar is called syntactic or syntax analysis. It requires looking at the syntax of the phrase’s words and arranging them to show how they relate to one another. The correct structure of a particular piece of text is ensured through syntax analysis. To check if the grammar is accurate at the sentence level, it attempts to parse the sentence. Based on the sentence structure and the likely POS produced in the previous stage, a syntax analyzer gives POS tags.
  • Step 3: Semantic Analysis
    Semantic analysis is the process of determining a statement’s meaning. The attention is primarily on the literal meaning of words, phrases and sentences. It also has to do with stringing words into coherent sentences. It takes the precise meaning or dictionary definition from the text. The text’s meaning is investigated. Additionally, the task domain’s syntactic structures and objects are mapped to do this.
  • Step 4: Discourse Integration
    Discourse integration is a concept that describes a sense of context. Any sentence’s meaning is defined by the meaning of the sentence that comes before it. And it also establishes the meaning of the subsequent statement. Every phrase depends on the previous phrase. The same holds true for the use of pronouns and proper nouns.
  • Step 5: Pragmatic Analysis
    The final phase focuses on the overall communicative and social content and how this influences the interpretation. Pragmatic analysis finds the desired result by applying a set of rules that describe cooperative conversations. It addresses issues such as word repetition, the role of speakers, and other issues. For example, it understands the context in which people talk to each other. It refers to the process of removing or abstracting the meaning of words used in a particular situation.

Video on Stages of NLP

Challenges of NLP

Although NLP has many advantages, there are also a few disadvantages. However, these challenges can be overcome with a professional approach.

1. Faulty training data

NLP is mainly about understanding language. To master this, you need to spend a lot of time for analyzing training data. NLP systems that focus on inaccurate data learn inefficiently and incorrectly, leading to faulty results. As a result, it is important to use high-quality datasets for NLP.

2. Time taken to develop NLP systems

The development of an NLP system takes a long time. AI analyzes the data points in order to process and apply them appropriately. Deep networks train with datasets for NLP projects that can be generated in a few hours. Consequently, the existing NLP technology helps to develop new products.

3. Lack of research and development

The application of NLP is diverse. Therefore, it needs supporting technologies such as deep learning and neural networks to evolve. The lack of suitable research and development tools often leads to the use of NLP being rejected. Often without reason – because NLP is an excellent approach to create unique models by adding customized algorithms to specific NLP implementations.

What are NLP datasets?

NLP datasets refer to collections of textual data that are specifically curated and annotated for training, evaluating, or testing natural language processing models. These datasets play a crucial role in the development of NLP applications and systems. Datasets for NLP projects allow researchers and practitioners to train models to understand, interpret, and generate human language. Datasets for natural language processing cover a wide range of tasks, some of which we have already covered. These datasets are typically labeled and annotated by human annotators to provide ground truth for training machine learning models. Datasets for NLP vary in size, complexity, and domain, catering to the specific needs of researchers and developers working on diverse language-related tasks.

How can NLP datasets be used to improve algorithms?

Large datasets for NLP projects are required to learn NLP applications for AI. The data can come from a variety of sources, such as chats, tweets or other social media posts. However, as they do not fit into the conventional architecture of relational databases, datasets for NLP projects are unstructured. Therefore, they need to be categorized and examined. Despite the fact that words themselves can have numerous meanings, robots can learn what is meant by each utterance. Thus, datasets for natural language processing enable cognitive language understanding for AI applications. Using datasets for natural language processing means classifications can be made at the levels of syntax, semantics, discourse and language. Additionally, lemmatization and stemming, sentiment analysis, speech recognition and text-to-speech can be classified accordingly.

Using the crowd for generating datasets for NLP

Crowdsourcing platforms such as clickworker offer several possibilities for generating datasets for natural language processing. They offer different advantages.

  • They are cost-effective. This can help you save time and money, even when you need very large datasets for NLP.
  • They are fast. If you need a large amount of data, you can collect it quickly and efficiently using a crowdsourcing platform.
  • Crowdsourcing platforms are diverse. By using a crowdsourcing platform like clickworker, you can collect data from a variety of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. This can help you create NLP datasets that are more representative of the real world.
  • Flexibility. You can use crowdsourcing platforms to create datasets for a variety of NLP tasks, such as text classification, entity recognition and machine translation.
  • Scalability. If you need more datasets for natural language processing, you can simply post more tasks on the platform. This can help you keep up with the growth of your business.

Audio & Voice Datasets for Speech Recognition Training

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Audio Datasets

Interesting facts about NLP datasets

  • Size Matters: The sheer size of datasets for natural language processing significantly impacts the performance of NLP models. Larger datasets often lead to more accurate and contextually aware language models. For instance, models trained on massive datasets, like OpenWebText or Common Crawl, demonstrate a broader understanding of language nuances.
  • Multiligual Marvels:Datasets for NLP projects aren’t limited to a single language. Many encompass multiple languages, enabling models to understand and generate content in various linguistic contexts. The availability of multilingual datasets, such as the Multi30k or the OSCAR corpus, facilitates the development of models capable of handling diverse language inputs.
  • Historical Language Evolution: Some datasets for natural language processing capture language evolution over time, allowing models to grasp historical linguistic changes. For example, the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) spans several centuries, providing insights into how language has transformed over the years.
  • Cross Domain Adaptation: Transfer learning in NLP often involves pre-training models on general datasets and fine-tuning them for specific tasks or domains. The concept of using pre-trained language models, like BERT or GPT, has revolutionized NLP by allowing models to transfer knowledge from one domain to another more effectively.
  • Continuous Evolution: Datasets for natural language processing are dynamic and continually evolving to keep pace with changes in language use and emerging trends. Likewise, regular updates and additions to datasets help ensure that language models remain relevant and effective in capturing the ever-shifting landscape of human communication.


NLP significantly improves the capabilities of AI systems, whether they are used to create chatbots, phone and email customer care, filter spam communications, or create dictation software. Systems that use chatbot NLP are very helpful when speaking with customers. In general, the guideline is that the results will be more accurate the larger the data base.

FAQs on NLP datasets

What is an NLP data set?

A data set for NLP is a collection of text data that is annotated to make it usable for machine learning. These annotations can take various forms such as parts of speech, semantic, pragmatic and syntactic relationships.

Where to get high quality NLP Datasets?

The best place to get high quality NLP datasets is from research groups or companies like clickworker that specialize in collecting and annotating this type of data.

What are the disadvantages of free NLP Datasets

The disadvantages of free NLP datasets are that they tend to be lower quality and may not be representative of the real world. This can lead to poor performance when applied to new data. Additionally, free datasets are often not well-documented, making it difficult to understand how they were collected and what preprocessing was done.