Types of language API services

Azure Cognitive Service for Language is a cloud-based service that provides Natural Language Processing (NLP) features for understanding and analyzing text. This service can help you build intelligent applications. It provides tools like the web-based Language Studio, REST APIs, and client libraries.


Here are some details about language API services:

  • Azure Cognitive Service for Language provides several NLP features for understanding and analyzing text. This service brings together Text Analytics, QnA Maker, and LUIS. These features can be:
    • Preconfigured, which means that the AI models the feature uses aren't customizable. You just send your data and use the feature's output in your applications.
    • Customizable, which means that you use Azure Cognitive Services tools to train an AI model to fit your data.
  • Azure OpenAI Service provides REST API access to powerful OpenAI language models, including GPT-3, Codex, and embeddings. You can easily adopt these models to your specific task. Tasks include content generation, summarization, semantic search, and natural-language-to-code translation. You can access the service via REST APIs, a Python SDK, or the web-based interface in Azure OpenAI Studio.
  • Cognitive Services Translator is a translation service that provides text-to-text APIs.
  • QnA Maker is a cloud-based NLP service that you can use to create a natural conversational layer over your data.

Use cases

The following table provides recommended services for specific use cases.

Use case Service to use Service category
Translate industry-specific text Cognitive Services Custom Translator Translator
Translate generic text that isn't specific to an industry Cognitive Services Translator Translator
Translate natural language into SQL queries Azure OpenAI natural language to SQL Azure OpenAI
Enable apps to process and analyze natural language Cognitive Services conversational language understanding Language
Identification Language
Identify sensitive information and PII Cognitive Services Personally Identifiable Information (PII) detection Language
Identify sensitive information, PII, and PHI Cognitive Services Text Analytics for health Language
Identify entities in text and categorize them into predefined types Cognitive Services named entity recognition Language
Extract domain-specific entities or information Cognitive Services custom named entity recognition Language
Extract the main key phrases from text Cognitive Services key phrase extraction Language
Summarize a document Azure OpenAI GPT-3 text summarization Azure OpenAI
Classify text by using sentiment analysis Cognitive Services sentiment analysis Language
Classify text by using custom classes Cognitive Services custom text classification Language
Classify items into categories provided at inference time Azure OpenAI text classification Azure OpenAI
Classify text by detecting the language Cognitive Services language detection Language
Understanding context
Link an entity with knowledge base articles Cognitive Services Entity Linking Language
Understand questions and answers (generic) Cognitive Services question answering QnA Maker
Understand questions and answers (custom) Cognitive Services custom question answering QnA Maker
Combine multiple cognitive services Cognitive Services orchestration workflow Language


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