1 Introduction

This chapter covers

  • Introducing natural language processing
  • Exploring why you should know NLP
  • Detailing classic NLP tasks and applications in practice
  • Explaining ways machines represent words and understand their meaning

Natural language processing (or NLP) is a field that addresses various ways in which computers can deal with natural—that is, human—language. Regardless of your occupation or background, there is a good chance you have heard about NLP before, especially in recent years with the media covering the impressive capabilities of intelligent machines that can understand and produce natural language. This is what has brought NLP into the spotlight, and what might have attracted you to this book. You might be a programmer ...

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