Natural language processing: A cheat sheet

Learn the basics about natural language processing, a cross-discipline approach to making computers hear, process, understand, and duplicate human speech.

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It wasn’t too long ago that talking to a computer and having it not only understand, but speak back, was confined to the realm of science fiction, like that of the shipboard computers of Star Trek. The technology of the 24th century’s Starship Enterprise is reality in the 21st century thanks to natural language processing (NLP), a machine learning-driven discipline that gives computers the ability to understand, process, and respond to spoken words and written text.

Make no mistake: NLP is a complicated field that one can spend years studying. This guide contains the basics about NLP, details how it can benefit businesses, and explains where to get started with its implementation.

SEE: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise 2020: Tech leaders

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The path to real-world artificial intelligence

Experts from MIT and IBM held a webinar this week to discuss where AI technologies are today and advances that will help make their usage more practical and widespread.

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More about artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has made significant strides in recent years, but modern AI techniques remain limited, a panel of MIT professors and IBM’s director of the Watson AI Lab said during a webinar this week.

Neural networks can perform specific, well-defined tasks but they struggle in real-world situations that go beyond pattern recognition and present obstacles like limited data, reliance on self-training, and answering questions like “why” and “how” versus “what,” the panel said.

The future of AI depends on enabling AI systems to do something once considered impossible: Learn by demonstrating flexibility, some semblance of reasoning, and/or by transferring knowledge from one set of tasks to another, the group said. 


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Combine GAP and SWOT analysis to improve business performance

These two types of analysis are both valuable techniques that can be used in tandem to help your company increase visibility, better support strategy, and reach company goals.

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Knowing your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as gaps in performance can help take your organization to new heights. During a crisis–such as a worldwide pandemic– it’s even more important to stay on top of your company’s needs.

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

GAP analysis compares your company’s actual business performance to a desired level of performance, while SWOT analysis helps assess your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By conducting both of these powerful techniques in tandem, your company can ensure it is better positioned for success.

Comparing GAP and SWOT analysis goals

GAP analysis

SWOT analysis

Focuses on your company’s internal state

Your company

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SWOT analysis: Why you should perform one, especially during times of uncertainty

Understanding what your company does and doesn’t do well is an important part of developing a long-term, sustainable business strategy.

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SWOT analysis is a technique that can help determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses, even during times of uncertainty. Knowing where your company stands is the best way to move it forward. 

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
During times of economic crisis, conducting a SWOT analysis might seem unimportant. But the opposite is true. It can help you weather storms with more confidence and clarity. No matter the situation, knowledge of your company and its position in the world is the best step toward success. 

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a technique that helps companies assess their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). During times of crisis, SWOT analysis can become one

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Why the Apache Lucene and Solr “divorce” is better for developers and users

Commentary: A decade ago Apache Lucene and Apache Solr merged to improve both projects. The projects recently split for the same reason, which is a really good thing for users of search services.

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Must-read developer content

It’s very possible that you rely on Apache Lucene and Apache Solr every day, whether you’re looking for jobs on LinkedIn, trying to find that “bird-carries-shark” video on Twitter, or looking up random facts on Wikipedia. It’s also very possible that you have no clue how Lucene/Solr work, or how they’re developed. As such, you can be forgiven for not noticing that a few weeks back the Lucene/Solr community voted to break up, breaking Solr out from under Lucene and reversing the merger of the two a decade earlier, which you also likely missed. 

And yet the designation of Solr as a top-level Apache Software Foundation project matters,

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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 virtual event confirmed for August 5th

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 will be be held online, in an all-digital version, on August 5.

Image: Samsung

Samsung will host its Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event in an all-digital livestream this year.

On Tuesday evening, Samsung announced that Galaxy Unpacked 2020 will be held via livestream at at 10 am ET on August 5, when new Galaxy devices will be unveiled.

Samsung traditionally holds two Unpacked events each year, with one event in February and one in August. The February event is typically when phones in its Galaxy S line are revealed. 

This year, on February 11, Samsung announced the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra phones, all with built-in 5G. As Lance Whitney reported in TechRepublic, all three Samsung models come with built-in 5G, an Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, and a Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 processor, but each has different display sizes and different camera specs.


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