Accelerated Natural Language Processing: A Free Course From Amazon

Amazon's Machine Learning University is making its online courses available to the public, starting with this Accelerated Natural Language Processing offering.



Amazon's Machine Learning University is making its online courses, previously only available to Amazon employees, freely-available to the public.

One of the first such courses made available to the masses is Accelerated Natural Language Processing, a practice-oriented offering described thusly:

This content is based on the Machine Learning University (MLU) Accelerated Natural Language Processing class. Our mission is to make Machine Learning accessible to everyone. We believe Machine Learning will be a tool for success for many people in their careers. We teach Machine Learning courses on different topics. This class is designed to help you get started with Natural Language Processing, learn widely used techniques and apply them on real-world problems.

The concise course, as mentioned above, focuses on widely used techniques that can be used for real-world problems. Taught by Cem Sazara, an applied scientist at Amazon, the course is made up of a playlist of video lectures, along with a GitHub repository of course notebooks, slides, and data.

You can expect a playlist of mostly bite-size videos varying between 1 and approximately 30 minutes, though the majority clock in at under or around 5 minutes, with some lengthier outliers as warranted.

While the course and its video lectures are geared towards individuals looking for an accelerated path to natural language processing specifically, introductory machine learning topics such as supervised and unsupervised learning, imbalanced classes, missing values, and model evaluation are first covered prior to graduating to NLP techniques.



The GitHub repository contains the slides used in the video lectures collected into 3 major lectures, while the corresponding notebooks cover practical implementations of a mix of general machine learning algorithms useful in NLP applications, NLP specific techniques themselves, and the use of Amazon platforms to accomplish your implementation goals:

  • Bag of words
  • Text processing
  • Linear regression
  • Logistic regression
  • Tree models
  • Sagemaker
  • Neural networks
  • Recurrent neural networks
  • Word vectors

There are also a few datasets available here which are used in the course notebooks, including the IMDB dataset and — wait for it — Amazon product reviews.



Overall, this looks to be a great introductory course for beginners to natural language processing. Amazon has done the community a service by opening their Machine Learning University courses to the public, and between the initial Accelerated NLP offering and its kin, it appears that those wishing to learn machine learning from a world class machine learning organization now have another option.