My role: As the only UX designer in the Machine Learning Solutions Lab, I was in charge of the end-to-end UX process. I conducted UX research to identify/validate needs and define requirements. I generated initial design concepts and conducted feedback sessions to gather input and collect data to drive design iterations. I created prototypes and high-fidelity UIs, as well as the necessary assets required for implementation. All of this using a collaborative approach, working closely with the engineering team to rapidly identify optimal solutions that were also feasible within the given time-frame. Also collaborated closely with PMs and business stakeholders to ensure the solutions meet business needs.
The Document Understanding Solution (DUS) delivers an easy-to-use web application that ingests and analyzes files, extracts text from documents, identifies structural data (tables, key value pairs), extracts critical information (entities), and creates smart search indexes from the data. Additionally, files can be uploaded directly to and analyzed files can be accessed from an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket in your AWS account.
The Problem:
Many companies across different industries still primarily operate on manual, paper-based processes. Everyday they deal with billions of documents and forms, making the process of finding information difficult and time-consuming. When documents are found, extracting information through manual data entry can be slow, expensive, and error prone, resulting in increases in compliance risks. Furthermore, domain experts need to identify and categorize domain-specific phrases and keywords (or entities), or use traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and keyword detection software that requires manual customization. These approaches can create scrambled output and unusable results. AWS AI services such as Amazon Kendra, Amazon Textract, Amazon Comprehend, and Amazon Comprehend Medical help solve these challenges by automating data extraction and comprehension using machine learning (ML).


Search and discovery
DUS leverages multiple ML services, to automatically extract text and data from scanned documents that goes beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR) to identify, understand, and extract data from forms and tables. Amazon Textract will move the data from the documents to a format that can be readily searched. Next, Amazon Kendra and Amazon OpenSearch Service are available to provide the end user search experience in DUS. Amazon Kendra is an intelligent search service powered by machine learning. Amazon Kendra uses ML to obtain better results for natural language questions, and will return an exact answer from within a document, whether that is a text snippet, FAQ, or a PDF document. In addition to Amazon Kendra, the DUS provides a rich search experience to the user through the use of Amazon Opensearch Service. Amazon OpenSearch Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to deploy, secure, and run Elasticsearch cost effectively at scale.

Control and compliance
In addition to search, the ability to analyze documents at scale is essential. Amazon Textract extracts text from documents, which can then be input into Amazon Comprehend or Amazon Comprehend Medical. Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to find insights and relationships in text. It can identify key phrases and entities, such as places, people, and brands. Amazon Comprehend Medical is similar to Comprehend. It is a natural language processing service that makes it easy to use machine learning to extract relevant medical information from unstructured text. It can identify medical entities, such as medical conditions and medications.
Identifying these key pieces of information allows for compliance controls through redaction. For example, an insurer could use this solution to feed a workflow that automatically redacts personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) for their review before archiving claim forms by automatically recognizing the important key-value pairs and entities that require protection.
Other industries can also use this solution for complying with regulatory standards, such as GDPR and HIPAA. For example, this solution could be used by a law firm to redact PII, organization names or brand names. Another example includes a security agency needing to redact all vital information such as names, locations and/or dates from a case file for data security or privacy concerns.

Workflow automation
The DUS solution delivers results at scale in production workflows. Organizations can more rapidly process documents such as insurance claims and forms, and seamlessly extract tables from PDFs into CSVs to conduct additional analysis. With detection and categorization of medical entities and ICD-10-CM ontologies, medical institutes can recognize exponential savings in workforce, time, and other resources that are spent identifying and classifying patient information. All the data is stored by the solution in easily accessible formats, such as CSV and JSON files, which can be fed into downstream pipelines. Additionally, the bulk processing feature in DUS allows you to import a large number of documents directly for processing and analysis.

Using DUS
After logging in, you are directed to the homepage, as seen below. You have three options which cover the common use-cases in document understanding solution: Discovery, Compliance, and Workflow Automation.
When you select the Discovery track you will be directed to the preloaded documents page or the Document List page. You may select one of the preloaded sample documents or upload your own document. From here, you can search for a specific document by using a phrase or keyword.
If you decide to upload your own document, choose upload your own documents above the available documents. You will then be directed to a new page to upload your own documents. This page also has sample documents from different industry verticals for you to experiment with.
Back on the Document List page, you will find some PDF and image files. Text in these documents are not actually tagged or available to use by default. However, since these documents have been processed by the solution, you will now be able to search for information within these documents. If you decide to search for a specific phrase or keyword in the search bar, then the solution will analyze the text it has extracted from the documents and provide you with search results. The search results can be displayed in three different ways; a comparative view of Amazon ES (traditional search) and Amazon Kendra (semantic search), just Amazon ES or just Amazon Kendra .
For Amazon Kendra results, you also have the option to provide feedback by either up-voting or down-voting an Amazon Kendra suggested answer.
Amazon Kendra also supports filtering based on user context. Under the Amazon Kendra results view, you can filter results based on the users for the preloaded documents. Click the Filter button to the right of the Amazon Kendra Results title. You can then select a persona and one of the suggested questions to display filtered results. Amazon Kendra will then rank results based on the selected persona. You can toggle between the various personas to compare how the results differ. For demonstration purposes, the Document Understanding Solution comes with preloaded documents and personas from the medical industry. You will be able to notice that based on the question and persona selected, results are ranked differently creating a more targeted search experience for the user.
From the Document List search results view, you can select a document that you want to further explore. This will direct you to the Document Details page. See the following image.

DUS will extract raw text from a document in JPEG or PNG format. It detects Key-value pairs and tables, with an option to download them in CSV format. DUS also detects pre-determined entities and Medical entities.  
For exploring redaction controls, choose the Compliance option on the toolbar. Here you can choose to redact information like key-value pairs, entities, medical entities or even keyword matches by switching to the respective tabs on the tool bar and choosing Redact. One example of how this feature may be useful is to consider a clinic that wants to redact PHI information before they decide to share medical records. Another example is an organization that wants to redact specific information identified as key value pairs in forms present in their documents. As seen in the following image, you can redact information, download the redacted document and even clear redactions after use.
In terms of Workflow Automation, the Document Understanding Solution also provides some input and output capabilities via the AWS Console which makes it easier to integrate DUS into an existing pipeline. DUS supports a bulk document processing mode, in which you can simply input documents into an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket which will be asynchronously analyzed and made available in the application. More information on bulk processing is available on the AWS Solutions Implementation Guide. Results from the different AWS AI services are all stored within Amazon S3 buckets and the corresponding metadata is available in Amazon DynamoDB tables. This helps users of the solution to build downstream pipelines from these datastores that hold the document analysis data.
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