HomeGuidesAPI ReferenceChangelogsDiscussions
GuidesChangelogsAPI ReferencePublic RoadmapService StatusLog In


Absolutely, here's a chapter explaining what a vectorizer does, suitable for inclusion in your documentation:

What Does a Vectorizer Do?

In the realm of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and, more specifically, in the development of chatbots, a vectorizer plays an indispensable role. But what exactly does it do?

The Bridge Between Human Language and Machines

At its core, a vectorizer serves as an intermediary that translates human language into a numerical form that a machine learning model can understand. When a user interacts with a chatbot, they use natural language—words, phrases, and sentences—that are rich in context, nuance, and semantics. While this is easily comprehensible for humans, machines require a more structured form of data. This is where a vectorizer comes into play.

Text to Numbers

The vectorizer takes the text-based user input and converts it into a numerical vector, a process commonly known as "text vectorization." These vectors capture the essence of the text in terms of its lexical structure, semantics, and sometimes even its sentiment or emotional tone. This transformed data then becomes the input for machine learning algorithms, allowing the chatbot to understand, process, and respond to user queries.

Types of Vectorization

There are multiple methods for text vectorization, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most commonly used techniques are:

  • Bag-of-Words (BoW)
  • Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF)
  • Word Embeddings (like Word2Vec, GloVe, and FastText)
  • Contextual Embeddings (like BERT, FlauBERT)

Importance in Chatbots

The choice of vectorizer can significantly impact a chatbot's performance, affecting its ability to understand intents, manage dialogue, and provide relevant responses. In essence, the vectorizer sets the foundation upon which the chatbot's Natural Language Understanding capabilities are built.

In the following sections, we delve deeper into the specific vectorizers offered by Smartly.AI—TF-IDF, FastText, and FlauBERT—each of which is tailored for particular use-cases and levels of language understanding complexity.