Need a Natural Language Processing pro? Upwork is the word

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Ingrid Fadelli

NLP Skills are the hottest ticket on Earth and Upwork’s freelancing platform is the place to find people that have them

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has become one of the most important skills in the world, and mastering it could truly broaden any professional’s horizon.

What is NLP?

NLP is a specific branch of computer science enables direct interaction between computers and humans using voice commands. This field combines artificial intelligence and computational linguists to find ways in which computers can understand human (or natural) languages as inputs, then perform specific tasks, and produce verbal responses (output) to communicate back to us.

As an increasing number of modern technologies are aimed at simplifying our lives, both at home and in the workplace, finding efficient ways to enable simpler, safer (hands-free) and faster communication with computers becomes crucial.

Most modern NLP algorithms are based on machine learning principles, hence they are grounded on trying to get machines to learn through the analysis of real world statistics.

For instance, thanks to machine learning, an algorithm can now sift through an extremely large set of possible answers to a human being’s query, weigh the probability that each answer is the suitable one, then select the one that is most likely to be the right one and respond back to the human all within just a few seconds.

In other words, when you address one of today’s virtual assistants saying: “What is the weather today?” Siri, Alexa, Google Home or one of their buddies analyzes the data from all the previous answers that were given as a response to this query, finds the relevant information, and then answers to you in a way that is both accurate and understandable.

Machine learning tools were a huge step forward for NLP as, in the past, algorithms used to be based on strict “if…this…then…that” (IFTTT) manually written rules that did not take into account such a wide range of real-life language possibilities, and were hobbled from the get-go.

As machines’ understanding of human language continues to improve towards 99% accuracy coupled with the ever increasing set of answers to human queries, NLP adoption will go viral. And given technology is rapidly evolving, greater, improved NLP means more efficient tools that respond rapidly and accurately to human inputs.

In the future, NLP will become our primary interface to computers as well as everything IoT, including gaming, AR/VR, mobile, home systems, AI, Security, Enterprise, Education and Digital Marketing.

This makes NLP an incredibly valuable skill for professionals to master, a skill that leads to a vast amount of possibilities in today’s labour market.

Upwork enables innovating companies to connect with and hire NLP-skilled professionals

In a recent blog post, Upwork, the world’s most prominent and successful freelancing platform, placed NLP as the #1 fastest-growing skillset, in terms of demand.

Thanks to Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, and his esteemed Executive team, hitherto fragmented freelance job pools are being transformed into a stable, reliable, trustworthy and centralized platform for organizations of any type and located anywhere throughout the world. Here, they can find, connect with, vet and hire professionals who have the necessary skills that they need today and via an extremely efficient manner.

Upwork provides a safe haven for skilled professionals to access an abundance of freelance job opportunities that they otherwise may never find. This allows them to earn well while applying their skills to projects via remote collaborations with others around the world. This becomes increasingly important for both the companies and skilled professionals when it comes to such high, in-demand skills. Now, professionals who are versed in NLP can connect with employers who need them (and can hire them) in real-time. In the end, we all win as this drives the technology forward.

We, especially in tech, are encouraged to see this freelancing revolution has finally put freelancers who enjoy their freedom – work when they want to work and play when they want to play – on an equal footing with their full-time, payrolled counterparts. In fact, freelancers now make up 35% of US workers and collectively earned over $1 Trillion US dollars (yep, that’s no typo – to repeat, that is over $1 Trillion US dollars) during the past year, according to a survey by the Freelancers Union in association with Upwork and published on Marketwired.

More and more people are creating their own jobs and deciding to take unconventional professional paths, and we are likely to see this trend grow in future, Forbes reports.

As the freelance workforce grows coupled with pervasive virtual workspaces and opportunities are exposed, keeping an eye out for the skills with the highest demand rates is highly advisable, NLP most certainly being one of these today.

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