Google's Cloud Natural Language API Gains Additional Languages

At the Google Cloud Next event in London this week, Google offered updates to both its Google Cloud Natural Language API and Google Cloud Spanner. The former gained a bevy of new languages and developer tools, while the latter graduated from beta status to general availability. Here's what you need to know.

Google says the Cloud Natural Language API is already seeing plenty of action from developers large and small. It's been picked up by the likes of Evernote and Ocado to help them manage their businesses. For example, Evernote is using the API to analyze customer feedback from emails, pull out relevant metadata, and create action items.

Based on feedback from Evernote and others, Google quickly realized it needed to expand the number of languages accessible via the Cloud Natural Language API. The API now supports Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese. The API launched with support for English, Spanish, and Japanese. It can now analyze the syntax for all these languages, though Google says the new languages are being supported in beta status.

Beyond the additional languages, the Cloud Natural Language API is now also better at understanding sentiment for specific entities, and not simply entire sentences, pages, or documents.

"We're introducing a new method that identifies entities in a block of text and also determines sentiment for those entities," explained product managers Apoorv Saxena and Dominic Preuss. "Entity sentiment analysis is currently only available for the English language." Google is also launching improved models for sentiment and entity analysis in this release to  help improve the quality of its base models.

Google offered these new features to a handful of close partners, including Wootric, and claims the new entity sentiment analysis is delivering real results when it comes to parsing customer feedback and differentiating between several sentiments in a single sentence.

More information about the Google Cloud Natural Language API is available here.

Global businesses will be happy to learn that Google's Cloud Spanner will reach general release on May 16. The tool has been in beta since first being announced at the Google Cloud Next '17 event in March. Cloud Spanner lets businesses create and manage online databases for transaction processing applications. Some of the core features of Cloud Spanner include customer Authentication, provisioning for multi-nationals, inventory management for financial services and retail, and support for high-volume systems that require low latency, such as advertising and media.

Google says Cloud Spanner will be available in single regions first, with support for multiple regions later this year. Pricing varies widely based on how businesses put Cloud Spanner to use.


Be sure to read the next Natural Language Processing article: Plasticity Moving Two New NLP APIs to Public Beta