Classify your data, your way

Get started with natural language processing and machine learning in 15 minutes or less. Easily categorize text with custom labels to automate workflows, extract insights, and improve search and discovery.

Achieve high accuracy with little data

Generate higher accuracy on less training data through NLC’s ensemble of machine learning techniques. NLC models include multiple Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and a Convolutional Neural Network (CNNs), using IBM’s Deep Learning-as-a-Service (DLaaS).

Multi-lingual support

Classify text in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Spanish.

Tooling and API functionality

Build, train, and manage classifiers, regardless of technical skills. Access NLC capabilities through the API or an easy-to-use interface in Watson Studio.

Science Behind the Service

At the core of natural language processing (NLP) lies text classification. Watson Natural Language Classifier (NLC) allows users to classify text into custom categories, at scale. Developers without a background in machine learning (ML) or NLP can enhance their applications using this service. NLC combines various advanced ML techniques to provide the highest accuracy possible, without requiring a lot of training data.

Behind the scenes, NLC utilizes an ensemble of classification models, along with unsupervised and supervised learning techniques, to achieve its accuracy levels. After your training data is assembled, NLC evaluates your data against multiple support vector machines (SVMs) and a convolutional neural network (CNN) using IBM’s Deep Learning As a Service (DLaaS).

Watson NLC interface

Start Building with Natural Language Classifier

Get started with Watson

Access Watson services on the IBM Cloud.

Developer tools

Everything you need to start building with Watson.

IBM Cloud Search Interface

Case Studies

Text classification use cases and case studies Text classification is foundational for most natural language processing and machine learning use cases. Today, companies use text classification to flag inappropriate comments on social media, understand sentiment in customer reviews, determine whether email is sent to the inbox or filtered into the spam folder, and more.

Here are some examples of how companies across industries are using topic categorization from Watson Natural Language Classifier to improve workflows and transform the customer experience:

Person writing on a white board

Text analysis

Turn unstructured data from emails, surveys, support tickets, documents, and social media into actionable insights.

Co-workers collaborating while looking at a screen

Search and discovery

Recognize user intents through search bars or with virtual assistants

Learn more about Natural Language Classifier



  • – 1 classifier
  • – 1000 API calls per month
  • – First 4 training events per month

Additional Costs

  • – Additional API calls are USD 0.0035 per call
  • – Each additional classifier is USD 20 per month (up to 8 classifiers)
  • – You are charged only for the GET /classify and POST /classify methods

Classifier Training Events

  • – Additional training events are USD 3.00 per training event
  • – Training events are tracked and charged for on a monthly basis

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