Natural Language Processing (NLP) Projects & Topics For Beginners [2020]

NLP Projects & Topics

Natural Language Processing or NLP is an AI component concerned with the interaction between human language and computers. When you are a beginner in the field of software development, it can be tricky to find NLP projects that match your learning needs. So, we have collated some examples to get you started. So, if you are a ML beginner, the best thing you can do is work on some NLP projects.

We, here at upGrad, believe in a practical approach as theoretical knowledge alone won’t be of help in a real-time work environment. In this article, we will be exploring some interesting NLP projects which beginners can work on to put their knowledge to test. In this article, you will find top NLP project ideas for beginners to get hands-on experience on NLP.

But first, let’s address the more pertinent question that must be lurking in your mind: why to build NLP projects?

When it comes to careers in software development, it is a must for aspiring developers to work on their own projects. Developing real-world projects is the best way to hone your skills and materialize your theoretical knowledge into practical experience.

NLP is all about analyzing and representing human language computationally. It equips computers to respond using context clues just like a human would. Some everyday applications of NLP around us include spell check, autocomplete, spam filters, voice text messaging, and virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, etc. As you start working on NLP projects, you will not only be able to test your strengths and weaknesses, but you will also gain exposure that can be immensely helpful to boost your career.

In the last few years, NLP has garnered considerable attention across industries. And the rise of technologies like text and speech recognition, sentiment analysis, and machine-to-human communications, has inspired several innovations. Research suggests that the global NLP market will hit US$ 28.6 billion in market value in 2026. 

When it comes to building real-life applications, knowledge of machine learning basics is crucial. However, it is not essential to have an intensive background in mathematics or theoretical computer science. With a project-based approach, you can develop and train your models even without technical credentials. Learn more about NLP Applications.

To help you in this journey, we have compiled a list of NLP project ideas, which are inspired by actual software products sold by companies. You can use these resources to brush up your ML fundamentals, understand their applications, and pick up new skills during the implementation stage. The more you experiment with different NLP projects, the more knowledge you gain.

Before we dive into our lineup of NLP projects, let us first note the explanatory structure. 

The project implementation plan

All the projects included in this article will have a similar architecture, which is given below: 

  • Implementing a pre-trained model
  • Deploying the model as an API
  • Connecting the API to your main application

This pattern is known as real-time inference and brings in multiple benefits to your NLP design. Firstly, it offloads your main application to a server that is built explicitly for ML models. So, it makes the computation process less cumbersome. Next, it lets you incorporate predictions via an API. And finally, it enables you to deploy the APIs and automate the entire infrastructure by using open-source tools, such as Cortex. 

Here is a summary of how you can deploy machine learning models with Cortex:

  • Write a Python script to serve up predictions.
  • Write a configuration file to define your deployment.
  • Run ‘cortex deploys’ from your command line.

Now that we have given you the outline let us move on to our list! 

So, here are a few NLP Projects which beginners can work on:

NLP Project Ideas

This list of NLP projects for students is suited for beginners, intermediates & experts. These NLP projects will get you going with all the practicalities you need to succeed in your career.

Further, if you’re looking for NLP projects for final year, this list should get you going. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into some NLP projects that will strengthen your base and allow you to climb up the ladder.

Here are some NLP project idea that should help you take a step forward in the right direction.

1. A customer support bot

One of the best ideas to start experimenting you hands-on NLP projects for students is working on customer support bot. A conventional chatbot answers basic customer queries and routine requests with canned responses. But these bots cannot recognize more nuanced questions. So, support bots are now equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to overcome these limitations. In addition to understanding and comparing user inputs, they can generate answers to questions on their own without pre-written responses. 

For example, Reply.ai has built a custom ML-powered bot to provide customer support. According to the company, an average organization can take care of almost 40 % of its inbound support requests with their tool. Now, let us describe the model required to implement a project inspired by this product. 

You can use Microsoft’s DialoGPT, which is a pre-trained dialogue response generation model. It extends the systems of PyTorch Transformers (from Hugging Face) and GPT-2 (from OpenAI) to return answers to the text queries entered. You can run an entire DialoGPT deployment with Cortex. There are several repositories available online for you to clone. Once you have deployed the API, connect it to your front-end UI, and enhance your customer service efficiency!

2. A language identifier

Have you noticed that Google Chrome can detect which language in which a web page is written? It can do so by using a language identifier based on a neural network model. 

This is an excellent NLP projects for beginners. The process of determining the language of a particular body of text involves rummaging through different dialects, slangs, common words between different languages, and the use of multiple languages in one page. But with machine learning, this task becomes a lot simpler.

You can construct your own language identifier with the fastText model by Facebook. The model is an extension of the word2vec tool and uses word embeddings to understand a language. Here, word vectors allow you to map a word based on its semantics — for instance, upon subtracting the vector for “male” from the vector for “king” and adding the vector for “female,” you will end up with the vector for “queen.”

A distinctive characteristic of fastText is that it can understand obscure words by breaking them down into n-grams. When it is given an unfamiliar word, it analyzes the smaller n-grams, or the familiar roots present within it to find the meaning. Deploying fastTExt as an API is quite straightforward, especially when you can take help from online repositories.

3. An ML-powered autocomplete feature

Autocomplete typically functions via the key value lookup, wherein the incomplete terms entered by the user are compared to a dictionary to suggest possible options of words. This feature can be taken up a notch with machine learning by predicting the next words or phrases in your message.

Here, the model will be trained on user inputs instead of referencing a static dictionary. A prime example of an ML-based autocomplete is Gmail’s ‘Smart Reply’ option, which generates relevant replies to your emails. Now, let us see how you can build such a feature. 

For this project, you can use the RoBERTa language model. It was introduced at Facebook by improving Google’s BERT technique. Its training methodology and computing power outperform other models in many NLP metrics. 

To receive your prediction using this model, you would first need to load a pre-trained RoBERTa through PyTorch Hub. Then, use the built-in method of fill_mask(), which would let you pass in a string and guide your direction to where RoBERTa would predict the next word or phrase. After this, you can deploy RoBERTa as an API and write a front-end function to query your model with user input. Mentioning NLP projects can help your resume look much more interesting than others.

4. A predictive text generator

This is one of the interesting NLP projects. Have you ever heard of the game AI Dungeon 2? It is a classic example of a text adventure game built using the GPT-2 prediction model. The game is trained on an archive of interactive fiction and demonstrates the wonders of auto-generated text by coming up with open-ended storylines. Although machine learning in the area of game development is still at a nascent stage, it is set to transform experiences in the near future. Learn how python performs in game development.

DeepTabNine serves as another example of auto-generated text. It is an ML-powered coding autocomplete for a variety of programming languages. You can install it as an add-on to use within your IDE and benefit from fast and accurate code suggestions. Let us see how you can create your own version of this NLP tool. 

You should go for Open AI’s GPT-2 model for this project. It is particularly easy to implement a full pre-trained model and to interact with it thereafter. You can refer to online tutorials to deploy it using the Cortex platform. And this is the perfect idea for your next NLP project!

Read: Machine Learning Project Ideas

5. A media monitor

One of the best ideas to start experimenting you hands-on NLP projects for students is working on media monitor. In the modern business environment, user opinion is a crucial denominator of your brand’s success. Customers can openly share how they feel about your products on social media and other digital platforms. Therefore, today’s businesses want to track online mentions of their brand. The most significant fillip to these monitoring efforts has come from the use of machine learning

For example, the analytics platform Keyhole can filter all the posts in your social media stream and provide you with a sentiment timeline that displays the positive, neutral, or negative opinion. Similarly, an ML-backed sift through news sites. Take the case of the financial sector where organizations can apply NLP to gauge the sentiment about their company from digital news sources. 

Such media analytics can also improve customer service. For example, providers of financial services can monitor and gain insights from relevant news events (such as oil spills) to assist clients who have holdings in that industry. 

You can follow these steps to execute a project on this topic: 

  • Use the SequenceTagger framework from the Flair library. (Flair is an open-source repository built on PyTorch that excels in dealing with Named Entity Recognition problems.)
  • Use Cortex’s Predictor API to implement Flair.

We are currently experiencing an exponential increase in data from the internet, personal devices, and social media. And with the rising business need for harnessing value from this largely unstructured data, the use of NLP instruments will dominate the industry in the coming years.

Such developments will also jumpstart the momentum for innovations and breakthroughs, which will impact not only the big players but also influence small businesses to introduce workarounds. 

Also read: AI Project Ideas and Topics for Beginners

Conclusion

In this article, we covered some NLP projects that will help you implement ML models with rudimentary knowledge software development. We also discussed the real-world applicability and functionality of these products. So, use these topics as reference points to hone your practical skills and propel your career and business forward! 

Only by working with tools and practise can you understand how infrastructures work in reality. Now go ahead and put to test all the knowledge that you’ve gathered through our NLP projects guide to build your very own NLP projects!

If you wish to improve your NLP skills, you need to get your hands on these NLP projects. If you’re interested to learn more about machine learning, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Machine Learning & AI which is designed for working professionals and offers 450+ hours of rigorous training, 30+ case studies & assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, 5+ practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

How easy it is to implement these projects?

These projects are very basic, someone with a good knowledge of NLP can easily manage to pick and finish any of these projects.

Can I do this projects on ML Internship?

Yes, as mentioned, these project ideas are basically for Students or Beginners. There is a high possibility that you get to work on any of these project ideas during your internship.

Why do we need to build NLP projects?

When it comes to careers in software development, it is a must for aspiring developers to work on their own projects. Developing real-world projects is the best way to hone your skills and materialize your theoretical knowledge into practical experience.

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