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Review: Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy

With the advent of voice assistants, chatbots, and automated voice prompts on phones, the need for interfaces that understand human language is growing. In order to learn how to create these relationships between computer and human being, there is Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy: A Practical Introduction by Yuli Vasiliev.

The interpretation of speech patterns into machine code is referred to as natural language processing. Regardless of how the words enter the computer, they need to be analyzed and interpreted into logic that the computer can understand. Python is a common computer language, that has been referred to on this blog before, and spaCy is a library that contains container objects that allows the program to represent elements as container objects that the program can understand.

Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy is designed for experienced programmers who are neophytes at natural language processing (or NLP and it is more commonly referred). The book requires knowledge of programming and concepts like data structures in order to understand how NLP works and how to use spaCy.

From the beginning, Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy explains NLP and how a computer can understand language and how spaCy can be utilized to do so. Once the reader understands how it works from a high level, Vasiliev walks them through how it works and how it can be implemented.

An understanding of Natural Language Processing is not as effective as actually utilizing it, so once the basics and basic how-tos are covered, the book shifts to focus on building and ultimately building a chatbot. Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy covers how to write the code to get the server to understand the human language, break it down, process it, and store it. Then a chapter is spent building a chatbot and implementing it on the Telegram chat platform to show how it can all come together and be used in a real world application. The final chapter continues to build out the chatbot and how it can process images or reach out to Wikipedia to answer questions.

As people continually want more from their digital devices and want those machines and programs to understand them without having to learn anything about computers or programming, Natural Language Processing With Python and spaCy is a good resource for those programmers who want to learn to bridge the gap and write applications that anyone can use just by talking or writing to their machines and have the machine reply back in an expected way just the way they would want another person to.

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