14–17 Oct 2019

A pragmatic introduction to building NLP models

Julien Simon (AWS)
11:5512:35 Thursday, 17 October 2019
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Average rating: ****.
(4.86, 7 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Data scientists, ML engineers, and software developers




Many NLP tasks—such as sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, or machine translation—require each word in the input text to be mapped to a vector of real numbers. Words that are semantically similar correspond to vectors that are close together; that way, word embeddings capture the semantic relationships between words. Just like for other machine learning applications, you can either learn these embeddings from scratch or use transfer learning and fine-tune pretrained embeddings. The latter is usually preferable, especially if you use pretrained embeddings trained on huge datasets that generalize well.

Julien Simon dives into a quick introduction to word vectors, why they’re so important, and which are the most popular algorithms to compute them (Word2Vec, GloVe, BERT). He runs several demos showing you how to solve typical NLP problems by either computing embeddings or reusing pretrained ones using Jupyter notebooks based on Apache MXNet and Gluon NLP toolkit, as well as built-in NLP algorithms implemented in Amazon SageMaker (BlazingText, Object2Vec).

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of machine learning and Python

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to use (or reuse) embeddings to build NLP applications with minimal effort
Photo of Julien Simon

Julien Simon


Julien Simon is a technical evangelist at AWS. Previously, Julien spent 10 years as a CTO and vice president of engineering at a number of top-tier web startups. He’s particularly interested in all things architecture, deployment, performance, scalability, and data. Julien frequently speaks at conferences and technical workshops, where he helps developers and enterprises bring their ideas to life thanks to the Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

  • Intel AI
  • O'Reilly
  • Amazon Web Services
  • IBM Watson
  • Dell Technologies
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • AXA

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