What is natural language processing?

AI that understands the language of your business

Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of artificial intelligence and computer science that focuses on the tokenization of data – the parsing of human language into its elemental pieces. By combining computational linguistics with statistical machine learning techniques and deep learning models, NLP enables computers to process human language in the form of text or voice data. Lemmatization and part of speech tagging enable a deep understanding of language, including context, the speaker or writer’s intent and sentiment.

IBM Watson® makes complex NLP technologies accessible to employees who are not data scientists. Our products are built for non-technical users, to help your business easily streamline business operations, increase employee productivity and simplify mission-critical business processes.

NLP demo

Find critical answers with Watson Discovery

Watson Discovery is an AI-powered intelligent search and text-analytics platform that eliminates data silos and retrieves information hidden within enterprise data. Using IBM's market-leading NLP capabilities, Discovery uncovers meaningful business insights from documents, webpages and big data, cutting research time by more than 75%.¹

How NLP is used

Saves time

Saves time

Bank processes statements in 2 minutes versus 10 days using content mining, smart document understanding and pre-built NLP models.²

Saves money

Saves money

Oil and gas company reaches USD 10 million in time savings, using AI search and passage retrieval to make insights more accessible.³

Reduces workloads

Reduces workloads

An insurance organization used natural language models to reduce text data analysis by 90%.⁴

Generates revenue

Generates revenue

Law firms gain 4X productivity and earn 30% more revenue.⁵

Featured products

Which natural language processing product is right for you?

IBM Watson® Discovery

Surface high-quality answers and rich insights from your complex enterprise documents — tables, PDFs and more — with AI search. Enable your employees to make more informed decisions and save time with near real-time insights from search engine, text mining and topic modeling capabilities. Watson Discovery understands syntax, performs text extraction and analyzes relationships and patterns buried in unstructured data sets.

IBM Watson® Natural Language Understanding

Analyze text in big data in formats including HTML, webpages, social media and more. Tap into the capabilities of this natural language tool kit to identify concepts, keywords, categories, semantics, emotions and root forms, performing text classification, entity extraction, named entity recognition (NER), sentiment analysis and summarization along the way.

IBM Watson® Assistant

Improve customer experience and customer support across channels, such as chatbots and voice, with a conversational AI platform. Provide your employees with question answering and virtual assistants that perform disambiguation, so they can focus on higher-value work – all while reducing costs.

Ways to get started