Interview of Premkumar Rangarajan

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Q: What are your specialist tech area(s)?

Prem: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Prem: I had been collaborating with my co-author, Mona, on a number of ML thought leadership blogs here at AWS, and she invited me to write this book. Our main motivation for this book was to highlight the business use cases that AI and NLP can help solve for. A key feedback we have often received is that this technology is overwhelming, and so we wanted to use a simple way to show the art of the possible in NLP using AWS AI services with a focus on business value.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Prem: The topic was something I was very comfortable with as it is what I do at work regularly. However when we started to write the outline we realized the full import of what a daunting task writing a book can be. Thankfully the editorial team at Packt was very helpful, and provided us the support we needed to get going. The main research was to identify the most popular, in-demand business scenarios that NLP can be applied for, and once we identified these, we were able to move forward with framing the chapters.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Prem: One of my biggest challenge was underestimating the time commitment writing a book was. Each chapter was a mini-book in itself and was an entirely new solution that needed to be introduced, explained and walked through. So I had to build the solution, test it, and then write the chapter to help the reader understand how to develop and use the solution, this often took time and deadlines were looming. But after a month or so, I was able to manage my time more effectively, and carve out specific book writing slots in my week to write my chapters.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Prem: One of my biggest challenge was underestimating the time commitment writing a book was. Each chapter was a mini-book in itself and was an entirely new solution that needed to be introduced, explained and walked through. So I had to build the solution, test it, and then write the chapter to help the reader understand how to develop and use the solution, this often took time and deadlines were looming. But after a month or so, I was able to manage my time more effectively, and carve out specific book writing slots in my week to write my chapters.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Prem: If readers are interested in the science and math behind NLP, or want to train large scale NLP transformers, this is not the book for them. If however the interest is to understand how to quickly and efficiently build secure, reliable and scalable NLP solutions for wide range of business problems, this is definitely the book.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Prem: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/machine-learning/

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Prem: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/machine-learning/

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Prem: I found everyone in Packt to be very friendly, well-informed, and take my input and feedback on board. As such, it is an ideal setting for aspiring authors who want to present their ideas in a supportive environment.

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Prem: Be aware of the time commitment and plan accordingly

You can find Fred’s book on Amazon by following this link click.

Natural Language Processing with AWS AI Services is available on Amazon.com