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Brian Kolo, Ph.D., J.D.

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Sentiment Analysis: English 101 for Computers

Posted by Brian Kolo, Ph.D., J.D. on Thu, Aug 01, 2013

Think you know English? Think again. See if you have what it takes to teach a computer how to understand humans.

Anyone who has tried to learn English as a second language is only too familiar with its many — many — challenges. In addition to idioms, sarcasm, and a wide array of meanings when combined with various prepositions (think: make up, make out, make it, and of course, makeup), there’s also pop culture, trends, products, and more to keep straight. Luckily for us, we’re human, and even those well established in their native languages will be able to speak and decipher English with enough practice and exposure. But what about machines? How do we even begin to program them in a way that they can read and understand sentiment? Answer: very carefully. The process requires machine learning data scientists to use Natural Language Process (NLP) techniques, a form of advanced analytics. They use these techniques to build models that can decipher sentiment and weed out the meaningful information among the noise. 

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Topics: Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Science, Marketing