What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is a field within artificial intelligence which sits at the intersection of computational linguistics, computer science, and machine learning. NLP deals with solving problems using natural language – that is, the words we speak and write every day – by treating them as data and applying computational and modeling techniques to them to perform particular tasks.

While the field of NLP has existed for quite some time, it has recently come to the forefront of both the field of artificial intelligence and also more broadly within the popular consciousness, with the advent of large language models and generative AI techniques.

What are Large Language Models (LLMs)?

Large Language Models, or LLMs, are a class of machine learning models for working with language data which are understood to be both very large in size and also trained on very large datasets (e.g. double-digit percentages of the web). While there is no universally accepted definition of an LLM, most large language models have hundreds of millions, billions, or hundreds of billions of parameters and are trained on billions or trillions of tokens – units of language.

Large Language Models have significantly disrupted the data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) space with the popularity and success of generative models such ChatGPT, as well as other industries, as they continue to be integrated into products and services we use every day.

What is the best way to learn NLP?

NLP requires knowledge and skills in a number of domains: natural language, programming / computer science, and data science, statistics, and machine learning.

While this might seem quite daunting, a lot of the techniques applied in natural language processing have fairly simple underpinnings and do not require an advanced degree to be understood nor applied.

As with many other technical disciplines, the best way to learn is to balance theoretical knowledge and background with application and practice.

What is NLP from scratch?

NLP from scratch is an online training program for professionals looking to rapidly upskill into the field of natural language processing (NLP) and large language models (LLMs). Through fast, flexible, and affordable training, you can break into work in NLP and language models by quickly building the understanding and technical skills you need to do so, without costly and time-consuming cohort-based programs or traditional education.

Who is the training for?

The training is designed for those with little to no experience in NLP or LLMs who wish to rapidly upskill in order to begin working with natural language processing and large language models in their current role or a future position.

What is the format of the training? How is it delivered?

The training is delivered in modular workshops 3 hours in length, offered continuously, such that you may choose the topics you wish to learn and the times which work best for you. There are no cohorts nor start and end dates and the workshops are not considered to be a “course” as such. The training is 100% live instruction using a combination of slideware / lecture material and code in Google Colab and will be held in Google Meet.

Do I need any prior knowledge or experience in NLP or LLMs to attend a workshop?

No, there are no prerequisites for taking any of the training workshops, as they are designed to be modular and in the spirit of learning NLP and LLMs “from scratch”. That being said, prior experience with data, familiarity with programming (python in particular), and mathematics or statistics is advantageous.

How much do the workshops cost?

The workshops are $199 CAD each, for a live 3 hour workshop and everything that goes along with it. If you take multiple workshops, these will become less expensive as part of our flexible pricing model (please inquire directly).

Are there any assignments or projects included in the workshops?

Given the accelerated nature of the training, there are no assignments or projects included within the timeframe of the workshops. That being said, the notebooks will contain “take-home” activities building upon the training materials for you to work on later on your own and continue to practice and build your skills – because the best way to learn is by doing.

Will I receive a certificate upon completion of a workshop?

Yes, you will receive a certificate of attendance which you can share as a LinkedIn badge or otherwise after attending a workshop.

Sounds great! Where do I sign up?

Please see the training page for the current calendar of workshops and you may register at nlpfromscratch.com/training

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