Intelligent Document Digitization with Amazon Textract

Amazon Textract is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) service that is used to digitize and extract text and data from scanned documents. This service can be used in conjunction with a variety of other backend services offered by AWS to build powerful applications. Unlike a lot of early phase OCRs algorithms, Amazon Textract is not only able to read text on a page, but it can also read forms, pull data out of tables and digitize them. 

Developing OCR from scratch

The development of an OCR algorithm from scratch requires machine learning scientists who can program computer vision. The process involves taking pictures of a document and manually processing them, scanning letter by letter to ensure that the characters are recognized appropriately. Once letters are recognized, the data scientists start to associate groups of letters with words and then the document is broken down word by word. The process is as rigorous and time consuming as it sounds and building one’s own Amazon Textract type algorithm would be an incredibly time-consuming process. Hence, the service saves you months or even a year of time over building your own solution. 

Another great thing about Amazon Textract is that a lot of higher level tasks and features such as sentiment analysis are already built in. In sentiment analysis, sentences are analyzed and a negative, neutral or positive connotation is automatically recognized. You can then get a report showing the general sentiment of the article and the paragraphs in it. 

Pairing Amazon Textract with other AWS Services

Depending on your individual use case, Amazon Textract can be paired with a variety of AWS services. For example, once a document has been processed and data has been extracted, you could use Amazon Translate to interpret the text into another language such as French or Spanish, or any other language that is supported by the service. 

Furthermore, Amazon Polly could be used to convert the text into realistic speech that could be utilized for a variety of purposes such as feeding a chatbot created using Amazon Lex. Sometimes you may also want to look at the data through Amazon Comprehend, a natural language processing (NLP) service, to get a better understanding of what is exactly going on with the text that was just digitized. 

With such a diverse set of use cases, Amazon Textract is a very powerful service and can help digitize your business and get you out of paper records. If you’d like to learn more about Amazon Textract, click here. If you are ready to start working with Amazon Textract, please get in touch with us today. 

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