Which Named Entity Recognition (NER) API to choose for your project?

Which Named Entity Recognition (NER) API to choose for your project?

In this article, we are going to see how we can easily integrate a Named Entity Recognition (NER) engine in your project and how to choose and access the right engine according to your data.

What is Named Entity Recognition (NER)?

The term “Named Entity (NE)” was born in the Message Understanding Conferences

(MUC) which influenced IE research in the U.S. in the 1990’s. At that time, MUC focused on Information Extraction tasks where structured information of company activities and defense related activities is extracted from unstructured text, such as newspaper articles. Outside the U.S., there have been several evaluation-based projects for NE. Around this time, the number of categories is limited to 7 to 10, and the NE taggers, automatic annotation systems for NE entities in unstructured text, are based on dictionaries and rules which were made by hand or some supervised learning technique. More recent and currently dominating technology is the supervised learning techniques like Decision Tree, Support Vector Machine, etc.

In Natural language processing, Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a process where a sentence or a chunk of text is parsed through to find entities that can be put under categories like names, organizations, locations, quantities, monetary values, percentages, etc. With named entity recognition, you can extract key information to understand what a text is about, or merely use it to collect important information to store in a database.

What are the NER API Use Cases?

You can use Named Entity Recognition in numerous fields, here are some examples of common use cases:

  • healthcare: Improve patient care standards and reduce workloads by extracting essential information from lab reports
  • Human resources: Speed up the hiring process by summarizing applicants’ CVs; improve internal workflows by categorizing employee complaints and questions
  • Customer support: Improve response times by categorizing user requests, complaints and questions and filtering by priority keywords

The Multi cloud approach

When you need a NER engine, you have 2 options:

  • First option: multiple open source NER engines exist, they are free to use. Some of them can be performant but it can be complex to set up and use. Using an open source AI library requires data science expertise. Moreover, you will need to set up a server internally to run open source engines.
  • Second option: you can use engines from your cloud provider. Actually, cloud providers like Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud or IBM Watson are all providing multiple AI engines including NER. This option looks very easy because you can stay in a known environment where you might have abilities in your company and the engine is ready-to-use.

The only way you have to select the right provider is to benchmark different providers’ engines with your data and choose the best text that combines different providers’ engines results. You can also compare prices if the price is one of your priorities, as well as you can do for rapidity.

This method is the best in terms of performance and optimization but it presents many inconveniences:

  • you may not know every performant providers on the market
  • you need to subscribe and contract with all providers
  • you need to master each providers API documentation
  • you need to check their pricings
  • You need to process data in each engine to realize the benchmark

NER Test and API

Here is the code in Python (GitHub repo) that allows to test Eden AI for face detection:

Eden AI SDK for Named Entity Recognition


Eden AI SDK for Named Entity Recognition


Eden AI also allows you to compare these engines directly on the web interface without having to code:

Eden AI platform for Named Entity Recognition

Eden AI Platform for Named Entity Recognition

There are numerous NER engines available on the market: it’s impossible to know all of them, to know those who provide good performance. The best way you have to integrate NER technology is the multi-cloud approach that guarantees you to reach the best performance and prices depending on your data and project. This approach seems to be complex but we simplify this for you with Eden AI which centralizes best providers APIs.

Why choose Eden AI?

Here is where Eden AI becomes very useful. You just have to subscribe and create an Eden AI account, and you have access to many providers engines for many technologies including NER. The platform allows you to benchmark and visualize results from different engines, and also allows you to have centralized cost for the use of different providers.

Eden AI provides the same easy to use API with the same documentation for every technology. You can use the Eden AI API to call NER engines with a provider as a simple parameter. With only a few lines, you can set up your project in production.

You are a solution provider and want to integrate Eden AI, contact us at : contact@edenai.co

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