The world is digital more than it was a year ago, with Covid-19 pushing most human activities online. There is a huge surge in the demand for information online. Web pages, email, science journals, e- books, social media websites, news feeds provide a lot of data. In order to sort the data into information and make sure that it reaches the target audience fast is what text classification is all about.
According to IBM, 80 % of all information is unstructured and companies have hard time extracting required information from textual data with analyzing, understanding, organizing and sorting taking a lot of time.
As the CEO and President of Amazon, said in his annual shareholder’s letter, over the past decades that computers have broadly automated tasks that programmers could describe with clear rules and algorithms. Modern machine learning techniques make it easier to do the tasks for which tracing the precise rules is much harder. – Jeff Bezos
This is where auto-classification comes in, as the name implies it is classification of text into categories. Tasks are automated using machine learning making the whole process super-fast and efficient. Artificial Intelligence applies machine learning, deep learning and other techniques that make tasks faster. AI has enabled IoT that uses technology to make smart Televisions to Flasks.
Reasons for Leveraging Text Classification with Machine Learning
|Speed||Automating the process of analyzing and organizing data which is in the form of text results in much faster and efficient results. Reading and restructuring each text is time consuming for the human mind’s.Machine learning enables analyzing millions of texts at a fraction of cost.|
|Real-Time Analysis||Companies could use real – time analysis for critical situations to take immediate action. Text classifiers with machine learning can make accurate predictions in real time that can be used to make decisions right away.|
|Accurate Results||Machine learning with text classifications outputs accurate results consistently. Humans make errors due to fatigue, boredom and distractions that are overcome by text classifications.|
Applications of Text Classification
It involves an automated process of scanning texts for positive, negative or neutral emotions. It is also called sentimental analysis. Emotion Analysis covers a range of applications like product analytics, brand monitoring, customer support, market research, workforce analytics, and much more.
The topic is studied carefully for clubbed for related subjects. It involves rearranging of data according to the related topic, for ex: sorting out the latest news of the hours, organizing customer reviews by its topic or clubbing together
Language detection is an important element of text classification; it is the process of classifying text according to its language. These text classifiers are used for routing purposes (e.g. route the related customers to according to the services they are looking for).
Text classifiers are used for detecting the purpose of customers from their conversations like phone calls, email, chat and social media posts that is used to promoted customized products or for product analytics
For example, the following classifier was trained for detecting the intent from replies in customer’s chats. The classifier tags the customers as Interested, Not Interested, Unsubscribe, Wrong Person, Email Bounce, and Auto Responder etc.
This technology is used in applications such as:
- Social media monitoring
- Brand monitoring
- Customer service
- Voice of customer
Resources for Text Classification
Dataset to provide examples for training the classifier – We need training data that will guide your text classifier. An efficient classifier depends on the right data that best represents the outcome that you are looking for. Gathering the right data is the key. E.g.: you want to predict the intent from particular data sets like chats on social media, you need to identify and gather such data exchanges that represent different intents so as to predict the outcome. If you feed your algorithm with another type of data, it is not going to give the desired result.
Training data can be found internally and externally. Internal data generated from apps and tools that we use everyday such as CRM, chat apps, help desk software, survey tools etc. External data include data available publicly on the internet, on social media sites or public data sets.
Some publicly available datasets that you can use for building text classifier
Reuter’s news dataset
It contains 21,578 news articles from Reuters labeled with 135 categories with varied topic, such as Politics, Economics, Sports, and Business
20 Newsgroups: It is a popular, widely accessed dataset that consists of 20,000 documents across 20 different topics.
Datasets for Sentiment Analysis
Amazon Product Reviews: A well-known dataset that contains around 143 million reviews and star ratings (1 to 5 stars) spanning from May 1996 – July 2014.
IMDB reviews: It is much smaller dataset with 25,000 movie reviews labeled as positive and negative from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
Twitter Airline Sentiment: With around 15,000 tweets about airlines that is labeled as
Labeled as positive, neutral, and negative, this dataset is very handy
Other Popular Datasets
Spambase: This dataset consists of 4,601 emails labeled as spam and not spam
SMS Spam Collection: spam detection dataset that consists of 5,574 SMS messages tagged as spam or legitimate.
Hate speech and offensive language: Dataset with 24,802 labeled tweets organized into three categories: clean, hate speech, and offensive language.
A tool for generating and consuming the classifier- Once the classification categories are defined, the labeled data is fed into the machine learning algorithm and it is called supervised classification. The algorithm is set up to take on the labeled dataset, making sure that it generates the desired output. Example of supervised classification is spam filtering where the incoming email is automatically categorized based on its content. Other examples are Emotion Analysis, Topic Labeling, Purpose Detection, Identifying emergency situations by analyzing online information etc.
Some of the resources used in the different phases of the process, that is transforming texts into vectors, training machine learning algorithms and using the model to make predictions are:
Open Source libraries
Open source libraries are available for developers interested in applying text classification. Python, Java, and R offer a wide selection of machine learning libraries that are actively developed with a diverse set of features, performance, and capabilities.
SaaS APIs for Text Classification
Software as a Service (SaaS) for text classification is for people without any knowledge in machine language. SaaS don’t require machine learning experience and even people who don’t know how to code can use and experience the power of text classifiers. Some of the SaaS solutions and APIs for text classification include:
- Google Cloud NLP
- IBM Watson
- Amazon Comprehend
Supervised Classification is where the computer imitates human actions. The classifier has to be trained to identify emergency situations with accuracy from millions of text lines which could be from email text or online conversations.
It uses functions, sampling techniques and methods like building a stack of multiple classifiers in a step by step result oriented process. Algorithms are given a set of data called the train data which generate AI models that are given untagged data that are automatically classified.
Unsupervised Text Classification
Unsupervised classification does not depend on external information for the process. The algorithms are formulated to discover natural structure in data. Natural structure is not what we think of as logical division. Similar patterns and structures data points are identified and grouped into clusters by the algorithms. Data is classified based on the clusters formed. An example is Google search. Here the algorithm makes clusters based on the search sequence that the user requests and outputs them as results to the user.
Every data point is embedded into the hyperspace. The data exploration helps to find similar data points based on textual similarity. Similar data points form a cluster of nearest neighbors. Unsupervised classification enables generating quality insights from textual data and is language agnostic since it is customizable as no tagging is required and can operate on any textual data without the need of training and tagging it.
Custom Text Classification
A lot of the time, the biggest barrier to Machine learning is the unavailability of a data-set. Businesses and individuals are looking to apply AI for categorizing data but the necessity of a data-set is giving rise to a situation similar to a chicken-egg problem. That is where Custom text classification comes in; it is one of the best ways to build your own text classifier without any data set.
Altius has come up with unique methods for text classification using algorithm structures that are able to identify customer emotions on a large dataset and come up with new categories or dataset. This allows for the algorithm to create its own data set which is used to work against the data clusters. This training methodology is used in multiple neural network algorithms to get better results from different datasets. It brings down the cost and time takes to build a text classification model, since no training data is needed.