Google Updates Cloud Natural Language API

Google Cloud API

Google has updated its Cloud Natural Language API with new features that help the technology better understand the meaning and context of written words.

The company has also added new language support for the API.

Google’s Cloud Natural Language API is a fully managed service that is designed to give companies an automated way to extract meaning and context from written text. Organizations, for instance, can use the service to analyze customer feedback and customer sentiment. It also helps them extract metadata, action items and other key information from emails, web content and other unstructured content.

The latest updates improve on the Cloud Natural Language API’s ability to parse sentiment at a more granular level than previously possible. For example, organizations can now use the API service to gauge whether the sentiment expressed in a single block of text or even a sentence is positive or negative.

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Google product managers Apoorv Saxena and Dominic Preuss, who announced the updates in a blog this week, pointed to one example of how early users of the new features are taking advantage of them.

Online service Wootric, according to the two product managers, is using the new sentiment analysis capabilities to better understand customer sentiment around specific brands and products. “For example, for customer feedback such as ‘the phone is expensive, but has great battery life,’ users can now parse that the sentiment for phone is negative while the sentiment for battery life is positive,” they noted. The enhanced sentiment analysis capability specifically is currently only available in English, but will be soon be available in other languages as well.

As part of its continuing bid to make Cloud Native Language API available to users in more countries, Google this week also announced support for multiple other languages.

The company currently offers the service in English, Spanish and Japanese. Starting this week, the API service will also be available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean and Portuguese.

The update to the Cloud Native Language API was one of two announcements that Google’s Cloud Platform group made this week. The other involved the general availability of Cloud Spanner, a relational database management service that Google announced at its Cloud Next ’17 conference in March.

Google has described the service as the first horizontally scalable relational database for online transaction processing applications. Spanner is a massive globally distributed database technology that Google has used internally for years. The service itself is being targeted at companies with large-scale online transaction processing requirements.

Early users of the technology have used it in applications like customer authentication and to build large systems for business transactions and inventory management. Among those who are testing the service are companies in the financial services and retail industry, according to Google.