You Ask, I Answer: Machine Learning and Consumer Sentiment?

Denis asks, “How do you think AI will be applied to better understand consumer sentiments?”

Sentiment analysis continues to substantially improve in machine learning, in natural language processing, as our technology improves. We’ve gone from very simple, frequently wrong approaches such as bag of words to very fast, complex systems like vectorization, all the way to the state of the art with deep learning methods. Additionally, new techniques and methods like active learning help our models get better and faster.

So why don’t we see this progress in marketing tools? Watch the video for the answer.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Dennis asks, How do you think AI will be applied to better understand consumer sentiment? sentiment analysis is a field where it’s part of machine learning, it’s part of natural language processing. And it is, it has changed and improved substantially in the last year, we have seen some major leaps forward in machine learning when it comes to being able to do more with language generate language, to be able to recreate very human like language, our technology has vastly improved. Just as a bit of history, machine learning and natural language processing used to be very primitive, the most common methodology used back in the old days, like two years ago, was like bag of words where you would have certain words, those words would have sentiments attached to them. There’s a very famous natural language processing libraries that did this, where you’d have words like hate versus love. And that approach was OK, ish. But it really did a poor job of understanding any kind of context, you could, you could say things like, I love the club, baby seals, right? That would be a positive sentiment. But we know every human perspective, that’s that’s a pretty awful negative kind of thing. More has changed on that front bag of words, it’s still used by a lot of software, particularly in the marketing space. But it is, it is largely dedicated by people who are doing natural language processing work. More complex stuff is stuff like vector ization, where you have technology that understands not only the word, but the context around it, the mathematical co occurrences of words, you could say, you would be able to see things that I don’t love, or I don’t hate, and have them be treated as contiguous entities, rather than separate, discrete words. And with vector ization, that then opens up the path to really complex language models, using deep learning methods where machines understand and part and process at the word level, at the phrase level, at the sentence level, paragraph level, and ultimately, the document level understanding how the relationships between these different entities change and grow over time. And that’s where natural language processing today is doing a fantastic job. By having those multiple levels of understanding, we can get very close to truly understand the context of what somebody writes in, like consumer view, or what they say in a video, or what they said in an email, or what someone noted in a CRM, that natural language processing is as really advanced. And there are some newer tools, even newer tools today, things like active learning that are helping, our models get better much faster, because instead of writing a model, and then just being done with it, the machines now are flagging things where they say this, this is a low probability, low confidence entry here, and it will raise his hand say, human help me interpret this, you score this one, you score this exception to most of the rules I’ve come up with. And then it’ll reintegrate our feedback. And use that to keep training improving as models. So active learning, really helping change and improve the game for natural language processing. Which leads you to the logical question, why are we not seeing this progress in marketing tools? Why is it that so many marketing tools are still stuck in 2005, or 2010? When it comes to a lot of these techniques? Well, the answer is cost. And it’s, there’s a couple of different dimensions of cost. One is the cost to include techniques like this in your software, you need someone who knows how to write this code. And that’s a big part. But a bigger part and a part that isn’t talked about a lot is compute cost. Doing deep learning requires big heavy hardware, like GPUs to process quickly, and that the cost of that is starting to come down. But it is still fairly expensive to run that type of compute compared to a bag of words approach, which is a very cheap form of compute. Which means that if you are a software vendor that is making SAS based software, which is the majority of marketing tools, Software as a Service, there’s nothing you download, there’s nothing against all you just go to a website and it and you put in your credentials, and it does the thing.

in an environment like that, companies have a mandate to keep compute as cheap as possible. So that it scales to as many users as possible. If you have very expensive compute techniques, you can get a slow application very, very soon sooner than you expect. And so those two things, lack of knowledge, and the scalability, are really prohibiting the inclusion of these techniques in major mainstream marketing tools. Now, I think over time, that will change as compute costs continue to drop year after year. And then it’s just the lack of knowledge. And that I think, will eventually be overcome by startups, disrupting spaces. And then being bought by the big players and having the the startup technology integrated into the big players, tools and techniques, that you can get a jump on this by building your own software by building your own tools. Because what is computationally expensive for a software company to deploy to millions of users, is computationally very cheap for you or me to run on a laptop. Right? If you have a modern laptop, and you have the your own natural language processing code, is it a big deal for you to run a piece of software that does natural language assessment in 10 or 15 minutes now you do that your computer gets warm, the fans run a little bit and you go out maybe get a cup of coffee or something come back and and it’s done. That’s not a big deal to us. That’s a huge deal. That’d be a business ending problem for a software company. But for you and me, because we are effective distributing the problem across many computers, I do my version on my computer, you do your version on your computer, it’s not a big deal. So if you want to get a jump on competitors, if you want to get a jump on software companies waiting for them to catch up. Just close that knowledge gap by hiring by creating by buying the software to run in house, on your machines to do this kind of processing, and then you’ll have your answers way before anybody else. So give that some thought. give that some thought. This is a good question Denison it how do we apply this technique? It’s pretty obvious once you understand the consumer sentiment, you can use that information to change what you’re doing let’s make people unhappy and do more of the things that make people happy. That’s that’s the the the use case for consumer sentiment. The hard part is getting accurate sentiment. But good question. As always, please leave your comments in the comments box below. And please subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you


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