Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Natural Language Processing (NLP) Market
The adoption of artificial intelligence and other technologies has proven to be useful in curbing the spread of COVID-19. For instance, natural language processing (NLP) enabled chats were used to identify and predict the outbreak at its initial stages and prevent its further spread to non-contaminated areas. Technology giants, including IBM Corporation, are innovating, and developing solutions to ease the burden of healthcare systems as well as government institutions by automating the handling of phone calls related to the coronavirus infections. IBM has combined its Watson Assistant and NLP technology to handle phone calls made by citizens for gaining information on the spread of COVID-19 in their corresponding areas. Furthermore, it is being claimed that the first public alert outside of China was made in Boston (US) through HealthMap on December 30th of 2019. This alert was regarding the unidentified pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China.
On the other hand, scientists, and technological experts, in coordination with the frontline medical staff, are working towards the common goal of disease detection, examination, control, and drug discovery. For these purposes, the alliance is increasingly adopting natural language processing, analytics-based drug & vaccine discovery, geo-sensing, and data science technologies.
NLP works on the simple principle of understanding a statement and processing it, followed by fetching and providing the results as per the user’s query. NLP is the analysis of natural language as used by humans, which is one of the potentials of AI used in business to search and discover specific information stored under the organizations’ large database. AI being a broad term with numerous use cases, the NLP is used for the detection as well as restriction of spreading fake news. For instance, Singapore is the first country throughout the globe that has implemented NLP and enforced a law to take stringent legal action against the people spreading fake news within the country. Also, government agencies are implementing tools to analyze social media content and gain insights into COVID-19 topics and make informed decisions to mitigate the risk of spreading the infection to non-contaminated zones.
The demand for natural language processing is growing with its rising awareness among the industry verticals and the benefits offered, including reliability, scalability, real-time operation, minimal or no human intervention, and operationality among wide application areas. The above factors contribute to the growth of this market. However, the market growth has been hampered by the global pandemic and the lockdowns, where the demand for NLP solutions remains limited to emergency services. The market is expected to recover by the 2nd quarter of 2021, provided the global lockdown is lifted, and the number of coronavirus cases has reduced.