Frequently asked questions

How are Watson Natural Language Understanding, Watson Discovery, and Watson Knowledge Studio related?

All three products can be used independently of one another. Natural Language Understanding is a best-of-breed text analytics service that can be integrated into an existing data pipeline. Watson Discovery incorporates Natural Language Understanding, but also offers storage of data with multiple ingestion options and provides the opportunity of powerful queries to extract insights, serving as a powerful cloud native insight engine. Watson Knowledge Studio can be used with both Discovery and Natural Language Understanding to customize text extraction of entities and relations using machine learning models.

What language does NLU support?

NLU supports 13 languages, depending on the feature: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish. As languages are added frequently, please check the documentation for the most recent list.

How can I customize various enrichments provided by NLU?

Currently, entities and relations can be customized using Watson Knowledge Studio, then deployed to Watson NLU or other endpoints, such as Watson Discovery and Watson Explorer.

Can you deploy a custom model to Watson NLU with the free plan?

Yes, one custom model can be used with the free plan. The standard plan allows for unlimited custom models.

Where can I find information about security and encryption on the Watson Platform?

Public deployment will adhere to the same security standards as the rest of the Watson Developer Cloud public services. Premium and dedicated deployment options are now available with their own security standards. Further security and encryption information for the Watson platform can be found here.

For how long can I use the NLU Lite plan?

The Lite plan is perpetual for 30,000 NLU items and one custom model per calendar month. Once you reach the 30,000 NLU items limit in a calendar month, your NLU instance will be suspended and reactivated on the first day of next calendar month. Lite Plan instances and the custom model deployed for those instances are terminated after 30 days of inactivity. We recommend the Lite Plan for POC's and the standard plan for higher usage production purposes.

How can I calculate pricing based on my usage?

Please visit our pricing calculator here, which gives an estimate of your costs based on the number of custom models and NLU items per month.

Will my data be stored by NLU?

By default, all Watson services log requests and their results. Logging is done only to improve the services for future users. The logged data is not shared or made public. To prevent IBM from accessing your data for general service improvements, please visit this site.

In what regions is hosting available?

NLU is hosted in Dallas, Washington, D.C., Frankfurt, and Sydney.

Can I aggregate NLU items across multiple different documents?

No. For instance, if one document has 15,000 characters and another document has 3,000 characters, this equates to 3 data units. The first document has 2 data units and the second document has 1 data unit. It is not possible to combine the characters of all documents (18,000 characters) and then derive the number of data units.

Get started now with Watson Natural Language Understanding

Our advanced natural language processing (NLP) service gives developers the tools to process and extract valuable insights from unstructured data.