Getting Started with Named Entity Recognition in Azure AI Language Services

Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a vital component in natural language processing (NLP), enabling the extraction of key information such as names of people, organizations, locations, dates, and more from unstructured text. Azure AI Language Services provide robust tools for NER tasks, making it easier for developers to implement NER functionalities into their applications seamlessly.

In this article, we will provide you with an overview of NER in Azure AI Language Services and guide you on how to get started with this exciting feature using Python.

Understanding Named Entity Recognition 

Before diving into implementation, let’s briefly understand what Named Entity Recognition entails. NER involves identifying and classifying named entities mentioned in text into predefined categories such as person names, organization names, location names, etc. It plays a crucial role in various NLP applications like information extraction, question answering, sentiment analysis, and more.

Getting Started with Named Entity Recognition in Azure AI Language Services

To get started with Named Entity Recognition (NER) in Azure AI Language Services, you have two options that you can choose from:

  1. Language Studio: This web-based platform allows you to try entity linking with text examples without requiring an Azure account. It’s a great option for exploring the capabilities of NER without any setup. You can experiment with different text samples and see how NER identifies and categorizes entities in real-time.
  2. Integration into Applications: If you’re ready to integrate NER into your own applications, you can use the REST API or the client library available in various programming languages such as C#, Java, JavaScript, and Python. This allows you to leverage NER’s capabilities within your existing projects and workflows.

Getting Started with Python Code Example

To demonstrate how to use Azure AI Language Services for Named Entity Recognition, we’ll walk through a Python code example using the Azure SDK. Below is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Set Up Azure Resources

Before you begin, ensure you have the following:

  • An Azure subscription: You can create one for free if you don’t have it already.
  • Python 3.7 or later installed on your machine.

Once you have your Azure subscription:

  • Navigate to the Azure portal and create a Language resource.
  • Note down the key and endpoint provided after the resource deployment.
  • Select “Go to resource” once the deployment is complete.

You’ll use the key and endpoint later in your code to connect to the API. If you’re just trying out the service, you can opt for the free pricing tier (Free F0) initially and upgrade to a paid tier for production usage. Note that to utilize the Analyze feature, you’ll need a Language resource with the standard (S) pricing tier.

Step 2: Installing the Client Library

After setting up your Azure resources, install the client library using the following command after installing Python:

pip install azure-ai-textanalytics==5.2.0

Step 3: Implement Named Entity Recognition

Now, let’s write a Python script to perform Named Entity Recognition using Azure AI Language Services. Below is a basic example:

And here’s the output you should expect when running the script:

Responsible AI and Data Security in Named Entity Recognition 

Utilizing Named Entity Recognition (NER) in Azure AI Language Services requires prioritizing responsible AI and data security. This entails ethically deploying AI technologies with transparency, fairness, and accountability. Azure AI Language Services offers a transparency note outlining NER model behaviors, limitations, and potential biases. Integration involves adhering to legal and ethical guidelines to ensure responsible use without infringing on data privacy or intellectual property rights. Data privacy and security are paramount; Azure AI Language Services employs industry-leading security practices to safeguard sensitive information. Leveraging Azure’s secure infrastructure instills trust in data protection.

For further exploration and integration into your projects, refer to the official Azure AI Language Services documentation and resources. Happy coding!

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An Introduction to Azure AI Language Services

Azure AI Language Services is a cloud-based service that offers advanced language understanding capabilities through Natural Language Processing (NLP) features. It comprises of a set of services and tools tailored to facilitate natural language understanding and processing tasks within applications. These services leverage cutting-edge machine learning algorithms and advanced linguistic techniques to extract meaning from text, understand user intents, and enable seamless interactions between humans and machines.

Available Features of Azure AI Language Services

Azure AI Language services offer a diverse range of features and capabilities to address various language-related tasks and challenges. Some of the key features include:

Text Analytics

The Text Analytics feature allows you to extract valuable insights from your text data. It includes sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, key phrase extraction, and language detection. By analyzing the sentiment of text, identifying entities, and extracting key phrases, you can gain a deeper understanding of your data and make informed decisions.

QnA Maker

QnA Maker simplifies the process of creating conversational question-answering systems. It enables you to easily build a knowledge base from various sources and automatically generates question-and-answer pairs. With QnA Maker, you can create chatbots and virtual assistants that provide accurate and context-aware responses to user queries.

Language Understanding (LUIS)

LUIS, or Language Understanding Intelligent Service, empowers your applications to understand natural language input and take appropriate actions. It allows you to create custom language models, define intents, and extract entities from user queries. LUIS enables your applications to intelligently interpret user instructions, making them more capable and user-friendly.

Language Studio

Language Studio is a powerful tool that enables you to harness the full potential of Azure AI Language Services without any coding. It provides a user-friendly interface to interact with the available features and customize them as per your requirements. Language Studio allows you to train your own AI models, making it easier to build tailored language understanding solutions.

Advancements Compared to Previously Available Services

While previously available services such as LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) and QnA Maker addressed specific language-related tasks, the introduction of Azure AI Language services brings forth several notable advancements and enhancements:

  • Unified Platform: Azure AI Language integrates text analytics, natural language understanding, speech processing, and translation into one platform, streamlining development.
  • Enhanced Capabilities: Advancements in machine learning and natural language processing ensure improved accuracy, performance, and adaptability, empowering developers to create more intelligent applications.
  • Seamless Integration: Integration with Azure services simplifies development and deployment, accelerating time-to-market and enhancing agility.
  • Expanded Ecosystem: Alongside consolidating existing services, Azure AI Language introduces new capabilities, broadening the range of tools available for developers and fostering innovation in natural language understanding applications.

Migration from Previously Available Services

If you have been utilizing Text Analytics, QnA Maker, or Language Understanding (LUIS) services, the process of migrating to Azure AI Language is seamless. This migration lets you transition your existing applications effortlessly to the new unified language service. Azure AI Language provides a comprehensive migration guide with step-by-step instructions on how to migrate from the previously available services to Azure AI Language.

By migrating to Azure AI Language, you can unlock a wide range of features, including named entity recognition, personally identifying information (PII) and health information detection, language detection, sentiment analysis, summarization, key phrase extraction, entity linking, custom text classification, conversational language understanding, orchestration workflow, question answering, and custom text analytics for health.

Using Azure AI Language Services

Azure AI Language Services offers multiple avenues for integration into your applications.

Language Studio: If you want to experiment with Azure AI Language Services without requiring an Azure account, Language Studio is an excellent starting point. This user-friendly web platform lets you experiment with pre-configured features like named entity recognition and sentiment analysis.

Integration with REST APIs and Client Libraries: You can integrate Azure AI Language Services directly into your applications using REST APIs and client libraries. These tools, available for popular programming languages, offer flexibility and scalability.

On-Premises Deployment with Docker Containers: 

If you have specific compliance or security requirements that demand on-premises deployment, Azure AI Language Services has you covered. It provides Docker containers that allow you to deploy the service closer to your data, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations and enhancing security.

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A Quick Introduction to Document Processing Workflow with Azure Document Intelligence

In today’s digital age, document processing plays a crucial role in many business operations. However, manual extraction of information from documents can be time-consuming and prone to errors. This is where Azure Document Intelligence comes into play, providing an automated solution to streamline your document processing workflow.

What is Azure Document Intelligence?

Azure Document Intelligence is an AI service that enables you to extract insights and information from documents. It offers capabilities such as text recognition, entity recognition, and key phrase extraction, allowing you to process and analyze documents at scale.

With Azure Document Intelligence, you can automate document processing tasks, extract valuable data from unstructured documents, and gain valuable insights from your documents.

Benefits of Azure Document Intelligence for Document Processing

  • Simple text extraction: Azure Document Intelligence uses advanced AI capabilities to extract text and structure from documents, eliminating the need for manual labeling and saving time and resources.
  • Customized results: The service can provide tailored results for different document layouts, ensuring accurate data extraction for invoices, contracts, forms, and other document types.
  • Flexible deployment: Azure Document Intelligence also offers flexible deployment options, allowing users to ingest data from the cloud or at the edge. This flexibility enables businesses to choose the most suitable approach for their specific needs, whether it’s a centralized cloud-based solution or a distributed edge deployment.
  • Built-in security: Moreover, it’s important to note that Azure Document Intelligence prioritizes the security of data and trained models. Microsoft is renowned for its commitment to cybersecurity and invests billions annually in research and development. Users can trust that their sensitive information and trained models are protected at all times.

Setting Up Azure Document Intelligence

Before we dive into the code, you’ll need an Azure subscription and an Azure Document Intelligence resource. You can create a new resource through the Azure portal and retrieve the necessary credentials for authentication.

Installing the Azure Document Intelligence SDK for Python

To get started, you’ll need to install the Azure Document Intelligence SDK for Python. You can do this using pip:

pip install azure-ai-documentintelligence

Extracting Text from Documents

Let’s start by extracting text from a document using Azure Document Intelligence. In this example, we’ll extract text from a sample invoice document:




Explanation: This Python script leverages the Azure Document Intelligence API to analyze a PDF document. It starts by importing essential libraries and configuring the API client with the required endpoint and key. Next, it opens the PDF file for analysis. The analysis employs the prebuilt receipt model, and the results are stored in the `receipts` variable. The script proceeds to iterate over each document in `receipts`, displaying the type of each receipt, along with the values of the MerchantName and TransactionDate fields, along with their corresponding confidence scores.

You can explore more advanced features and capabilities of Azure Document Intelligence to further enhance your document processing workflows. Happy coding!

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A Gentle Introduction to Computational Linguistics

Welcome to my article on Computational Linguistics. This field lies at the intersection of language and technology and involves the use of various techniques and algorithms to enable machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. This area of study encompasses disciplines such as natural language processing (NLP), machine learning for language, text analysis, speech recognition, syntactic parsing, semantic analysis, and linguistics algorithms. In this brief introduction, we will explore the fascinating world of Computational Linguistics and its relevance in today’s society.

Welcome to my article on Computational Linguistics. This field lies at the intersection of language and technology and involves the use of various techniques and algorithms to enable machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. This area of study encompasses disciplines such as natural language processing (NLP), machine learning for language, text analysis, speech recognition, syntactic parsing, semantic analysis, and linguistics algorithms. In this brief introduction, we will explore the fascinating world of Computational Linguistics and its relevance in today’s society.

Key Takeaways

  • Computational Linguistics involves the use of techniques and algorithms to enable machines to interpret and generate human language.
  • This field encompasses disciplines such as NLP, machine learning for language, text analysis, speech recognition, and linguistic algorithms.
  • Speech recognition technologies utilize NLP techniques to convert spoken language into written text.
  • Syntactic parsing and semantic analysis are techniques used to understand the structure and meaning of sentences.
  • Language modeling techniques like n-grams, recurrent neural networks, and transformer models help improve the accuracy of text generation and speech recognition.

Understanding Computational Linguistics

Welcome to the amazing world of Computational Linguistics. In this section, I will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what it entails and how it is used in various fields. Computational Linguistics is the study of language and technology, and the intersection of these two fields gives rise to exciting possibilities in text analysis, language modeling, speech recognition, syntactic parsing, and semantic analysis.

At its core, Computational Linguistics uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to enable computers to process, understand, and generate human language. Similarly, linguistics algorithms play a vital role in analyzing the structure of sentences, identifying parts of speech, and understanding the meaning behind them. Together, NLP and linguistics algorithms form a foundation for machine learning for language processing, creating new possibilities for applications in language-related technologies.

Computational Linguistics is a vast field with numerous applications in various sectors, such as healthcare, finance, and education. One of the key areas where Computational Linguistics shines is in text analysis. As the amount of textual data being generated increases exponentially, there is a growing need for efficient tools to analyze and extract valuable insights. Using techniques such as sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, and topic modeling, Computational Linguistics offers a vast toolkit for understanding and processing text data.

Apart from text analysis, Computational Linguistics is also used extensively in language modeling. This is a process of building statistical models that capture the patterns and structure of language. Language modeling is the foundation of numerous NLP applications, such as speech recognition, machine translation, and text summarization, to name a few.

Overall, Computational Linguistics is an incredibly exciting and rapidly evolving field, with new advances and applications being made all the time. In the next few sections, we will explore some of the key components of Computational Linguistics in more detail, including NLP, linguistics algorithms, machine learning for language, text analysis, language modeling, and speech recognition.

The Role of Natural Language Processing (NLP)

As mentioned earlier, natural language processing (NLP) is a key player in the field of computational linguistics. With the help of NLP, machines are able to analyze and understand human language. NLP techniques involve breaking down language into smaller chunks, such as words, phrases, and sentences, which can then be analyzed and interpreted by a computer.

One crucial application of NLP is text analysis, which involves extracting meaningful insights and patterns from large volumes of text. Through techniques such as sentiment analysis and named entity recognition, machines can identify the emotions, opinions, and entities mentioned in a piece of text. This can be especially useful for businesses looking to track customer sentiment or identify important trends in their industry.

Another important aspect of NLP is language modeling, which involves teaching a machine how to understand and generate human language. Language models use statistical methods to analyze and predict the likelihood of certain words or phrases occurring in a sentence. This is particularly useful for tasks such as machine translation and speech recognition.

Natural Language Processing

Overall, the role of NLP in Computational Linguistics is vital, enabling machines to comprehend, interpret, and generate human language with increasing accuracy and efficiency.

Linguistics Algorithms in Computational Linguistics

In Computational Linguistics, linguistics algorithms are essential in enabling machines to understand human language. Two critical linguistics algorithms are syntactic parsing and semantic analysis. They allow computers to analyze the structure of sentences and determine their meaning.

Syntactic Parsing

Syntactic parsing involves breaking a sentence down into subparts to analyze its grammatical structure. This algorithm is crucial in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and helps computers understand the different parts of speech – nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs – in a sentence. By identifying the subject, object and predicate, the machine can understand the sentence’s grammatical structure.

Semantic Analysis

Semantic analysis involves analyzing the sentence context to determine its meaning. The algorithm uses datasets to understand how words relate to each other and determine the different elements in the sentence. Through this algorithm, machines can identify the underlying context of a sentence and extract the intended meaning.

“It is not about understanding words; it is about understanding meaning.” – Naveen Gattu

Overall, linguistics algorithms are critical in Computational Linguistics as they help machines understand and interpret human language. Syntactic parsing and semantic analysis are crucial algorithms that enable the computers to analyze the structure and meaning of sentences, which are important for NLP and other language processing tasks.

Machine Learning for Language Processing

As we continue exploring the fascinating world of Computational Linguistics, we cannot overlook the role of machine learning in language processing tasks. Machine learning takes a data-driven approach to language modeling and processing, enabling machines to learn patterns and improve accuracy over time.

In fact, the combination of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) has resulted in revolutionary developments in speech recognition and understanding. By feeding large amounts of data into machine learning algorithms, speech recognition systems can discern speech patterns and transcribe spoken words with remarkable accuracy and efficiency.

Speech recognition technology is used in many applications, such as virtual assistants, automated customer service, and even healthcare. For instance, healthcare providers can use speech recognition software to transcribe dictated notes for medical records, streamlining the documentation process and freeing up more time for patient care.

Moreover, machine learning is also used in NLP tasks such as text classification, sentiment analysis, and language translation. By understanding the context and patterns in large datasets, these techniques allow machines to process and interpret human language with increasing accuracy.

Machine Learning in Speech Recognition

Let’s take a closer look at how machine learning is applied in speech recognition. Typically, speech recognition systems use acoustic and language models to process and interpret spoken words. The acoustic model maps audio features to phonetic units, while the language model estimates the probability of a word sequence based on its linguistic context.

Machine learning algorithms are used to improve the accuracy and efficiency of these models. For instance, deep learning models such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are used to recognize patterns and learn the underlying structure of speech signals. These models can pick up on subtle variations in accents, dialects, and background noise, enabling more accurate transcription of spoken words.

Moreover, language models based on neural networks have shown significant improvements in speech recognition tasks. For example, transformer models such as BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) have achieved state-of-the-art results in speech recognition by leveraging large amounts of language data and self-supervised learning techniques.

Speech recognition

With the aid of machine learning and NLP, we can unlock the full potential of speech recognition technology, making it a powerful tool for various fields and industries.

Text Analysis in Computational Linguistics

Text analysis is a critical aspect of computational linguistics. In this section, we will explore the various techniques used for text analysis and extraction of information from text.

One of the primary applications of NLP is text analysis. This technique involves breaking down a piece of text into smaller parts and extracting relevant information from it. One common type of text analysis is sentiment analysis which involves determining whether the text expresses a positive or negative sentiment.

Another type of text analysis is named entity recognition. This technique involves identifying and extracting specific entities such as names, organizations, and locations mentioned in the text. In contrast, topic modeling involves identifying the main topics covered in a piece of text and highlighting the relevant keywords.

For instance, imagine the input text was a film review – topic modeling would identify the movie’s genre, key characters, and plot points, while named entity recognition could extract the names of actors or directors mentioned. Sentiment analysis would determine whether the tone of the review was generally positive or negative.

Text Analysis Techniques

There are several techniques for text analysis which include:

Technique Description
Sentiment Analysis Analyzing text for sentiment, typically into categories such as positive, negative, and neutral.
Named Entity Recognition (NER) Identifying and categorizing specific entities such as names, organizations, and locations.
Topic Modeling Discovering topics in large-scale data by clustering and grouping similar words, typically creating a list of related keywords.
Keyword Extraction Identifying the most relevant words or phrases in a piece of text based on their frequency.
Text Categorization Assigning predefined categories to a text based on its content.

Text analysis is an essential tool that enables us to process and extract meaning from large amounts of unstructured data such as text. By utilizing techniques such as sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, topic modeling, keyword extraction, and text categorization, we can gain valuable insights into the nature of language data.

Language Modeling in Computational Linguistics

In the field of computational linguistics, language modeling plays a crucial role in enabling machines to understand and process human language. Language models capture the statistical structure of language and use this information to accurately predict the likelihood of a word or phrase appearing in a given context. The most common type of language model is an n-gram model, which estimates the probability of a word based on the previous n-1 words in a given sequence.

Another technique used in language modeling is recurrent neural networks (RNNs). RNNs are able to capture long-term dependencies in language by including an internal memory that allows the network to maintain information from previous inputs. Transformer models are also gaining popularity in language modeling tasks because of their ability to handle large amounts of textual data.

Language models are used in a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks, such as speech recognition, machine translation, and text completion. By accurately predicting the likelihood of a sequence of words, language models enable machines to produce fluent and coherent human-like text.

Example of Language Modeling

Suppose we want to generate the sentence: “I went to the park and played frisbee with my dog.” A language model might predict the likelihood of each word based on the preceding sequence, as shown in the table below:

Sequence Next Word Probability
I went to the park and played frisbee 0.8
I went to the park and played soccer 0.1
I went to the park and played tennis 0.05
I went to the park and played football 0.03
I went to the park and played baseball 0.02

Based on this table, the language model would predict that the most probable next word is “frisbee”.

Speech Recognition in Computational Linguistics

As a part of Computational Linguistics, speech recognition technologies use Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to convert spoken language into written text. This technology has made significant progress in recent years and has become more accurate and efficient. However, the process of converting audio into text can still be challenging due to speech differences and background noise.

How Does Speech Recognition Work?

Speech recognition involves the conversion of audio signals into written text. The process begins by capturing audio, which is then transformed into data using a process known as digital signal processing. This data is then analyzed using statistical models and machine learning algorithms that are trained on large datasets to recognize phonemes, words, and phrases. Once this analysis is completed, the recognized text is produced. It’s important to note that this process is not always perfect and may require additional processing to improve the accuracy of the output.

The Role of NLP in Speech Recognition

Speech recognition technology utilises NLP to improve its accuracy. NLP algorithms process the recognized text to understand the meaning behind the words and phrases. By analyzing surrounding text and context, NLP algorithms improve the accuracy of speech recognition systems.

Applications of Speech Recognition Technology

Speech recognition technology has a multitude of applications, such as dictation, voice-activated assistants, and customer service. With the rise of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, speech recognition technology has become part of everyday life. The technology also has applications in healthcare, facilitating patient record keeping and diagnoses. Additionally, speech recognition technology has opened up new possibilities for accessibility, enabling individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate effectively.

Syntactic Parsing and Semantic Analysis

In Computational Linguistics, some of the most crucial areas are syntactic parsing and semantic analysis. Syntactic parsing involves analyzing the grammatical structure of sentences, breaking down sentences into phrases based on their parts of speech, and understanding how words work together to form meaning.

On the other hand, semantic analysis focuses on understanding the meaning behind the sentences and how different words relate to each other. It involves identifying the relationships between different words, the context in which they are used, and their roles in the sentence.

Both syntactic parsing and semantic analysis are integral components of natural language processing. These techniques are used to build computational models that can analyze and understand text, enabling machines to perform a variety of language-related tasks.

“Syntactic parsing and semantic analysis help machines to understand language, opening up possibilities for natural language processing.”


As I conclude this article on Computational Linguistics, I am reminded of the ever-evolving nature of technology and its potential to transform the world we live in. Computational Linguistics is no exception, as it brings together the power of language and technology. It encompasses various disciplines such as natural language processing, linguistics algorithms, and machine learning for language.

Through the application of text analysis, language modeling, speech recognition, syntactic parsing, and semantic analysis, Computational Linguistics opens up endless possibilities to understand and leverage human language. It has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate, interact with technology, and even understand ourselves.

As we continue to explore the depths of Computational Linguistics, I am excited to see what the future holds and the innovations that will emerge. I hope this article has provided you with a better understanding of this fascinating field and its potential impact.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on computational linguistics. I hope you found this article informative and engaging.


What is Computational Linguistics?

Computational Linguistics is the field that combines linguistics and computer science to develop algorithms and models for processing and analyzing natural language. It involves techniques such as natural language processing, machine learning, and text analysis to enable computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language.

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subfield of Computational Linguistics that focuses on the interaction between computers and human language. It involves the development of algorithms and models to enable computers to process, understand, and generate natural language in various forms such as text or speech.

What are some applications of Computational Linguistics?

Computational Linguistics has a wide range of applications. It is used in machine translation, sentiment analysis, information retrieval, question answering systems, speech recognition, and more. It plays a crucial role in enabling communication between humans and computers, improving language processing tasks, and extracting meaningful information from textual data.

How does machine learning contribute to Computational Linguistics?

Machine learning techniques are extensively used in Computational Linguistics to train models that can process and interpret language. By leveraging large amounts of data, machine learning algorithms can automatically learn patterns, rules, and relationships in language, enabling computers to make accurate predictions and perform complex language tasks.

What is the role of text analysis in Computational Linguistics?

Text analysis is a fundamental component of Computational Linguistics. It involves techniques and algorithms for extracting information, understanding the structure, and deriving meaning from text. Text analysis can include tasks such as sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, summarization, and topic modeling, among others.

How does Computational Linguistics contribute to speech recognition?

Computational Linguistics plays a vital role in speech recognition systems. By using natural language processing techniques, these systems can convert spoken language into written text. It involves processing the audio input, applying acoustic modeling, language modeling, and other NLP algorithms to transcribe speech accurately.

What is syntactic parsing in Computational Linguistics?

Syntactic parsing is the process of analyzing the grammatical structure of sentences. It involves identifying the components of a sentence, their relationships, and how they combine to form meaning. Syntactic parsing is crucial in various language processing tasks, such as machine translation, information extraction, and text-to-speech synthesis.

What is semantic analysis in Computational Linguistics?

Semantic analysis focuses on understanding the meaning of language. It involves analyzing sentence structures, word sense disambiguation, and identifying the relationships between words and concepts. Semantic analysis is essential in tasks such as question answering systems, sentiment analysis, and information retrieval.