Natural Language Processing (NLP) Techniques for Social Good

Social media has become an open space for individuals to share opinions and ideas on various fields and topics such as services and products and even went beyond that by creating a space for individuals to share their feelings and publish their personal news.

  • Based on that. Natural Language Processing techniques, or (NLP) have been prominent. And it falls under the specialization of Computer Science and AI.
  • And since there is a massive amount of information available on social media platforms and almost free of charge, it forms a fertile environment for studying and analyzing to benefit from it in various fields. Such as extracting information about specific products for marketing and advertising purposes or creating programs to answer questions such as Siri and others.
  • And like any modern technique, laws, and regulations must be enacted to legalize its use to ensure the protection of individuals’ rights and privacy. In this field, a new trend was created, supporting the use of NLP techniques to serve humanity under the name of- Natural Language Processing Techniques for Social Good or (NLP4SG).
  • The emerging trend aims to highlight the issues such as algorithmic bias, as what happened in Amazon’s human resource system.

The AI system designed to compare and nominate the best applicants for jobs offered by Amazon has shown a bias against women.

  • There is also ongoing research to process the fairness and transparency issues in the processing of information, data used, and to provide ethics recommendations that must be complied with to ensure that techniques are harnessed to facilitate the life of humanity in general.

The trend of automated work field is currently active on interpreting and processing misleading information (for example, verifying the authenticity of news) to save human time and efforts in tracking and verifying its sources, and in the health care field as well (to save the time and effort of the doctors).

  • But naturally, some fields have not been paid full attention to them yet or given their rights in research and development to serve humanity. Such as addressing global hunger cases, extreme poverty, providing clean water, sanitary drainage, and clean energy to poor people.
  • As an initial attempt to fill this gap, some specialized researchers tried to unify their efforts and draw attention to these issues. Among these efforts, workshops, and research papers, published at the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 conference, which was held virtually from (1-6) August of this year 2021.
  • Among the workshops I attended was a workshop about the future of NLP techniques for the social good. Its goal was to gather the interested researchers in this field from all over the globe to discuss the challenges they face and unify efforts to harness NLP techniques to improve the quality of life of humans.

For more information for those interested in this field, you can refer to the page related to this research group on the following link:

Here on the GitHub platform, has been collected and categorized many scientific papers which are interested in this field:

Here is a link to a tweet from one of the researchers in the field. She is one of the main organizers of the workshops related to this field during the conference period:

Finally: For those who want to communicate personally with the researchers and are interested in the field, you can reach them through the group’s Slack page on the following link:⁩:

Group Coordinator’s Twitter ⁦@ZhijingJin⁩. And that is the group account ⁦@nlp4sg⁩.

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