Documents are a primary tool for record keeping, communication, collaboration, and transactions across many industries, including financial, medical, legal, and real estate. The millions of mortgage applications and hundreds of millions of W2 tax forms processed each year are just a few examples of such documents.
Critical business data remains unlocked in unstructured documents such as scanned images and PDFs, and trying to get humans to read this data or even legacy OCR is tedious, expensive, and error prone.
This is why we launched Amazon Textract in 2019 to help you automate your tedious document processing workflows powered by AI. Amazon Textract automatically extracts printed text, handwriting, and data from any document.
Amazon Textract continuously improves the service based on your feedback.
In this post, we share the features and improvements to the Amazon Textract service released each quarter.
2022 – Q4
Analyze Lending to accelerate loan document processing
The Analyze Lending feature in Amazon Textract is a managed API that helps you automate mortgage document processing to drive business efficiency, reduce costs, and scale quickly. Analyze Lending fully automates the classification and extraction of information from loan packages. You simply upload your mortgage loan documents to the Analyze Lending API, and its pre-trained machine learning models will automatically classify and split by document type, and extract critical fields of information from a mortgage loan packet. Learn more about this feature in the post Classifying and Extracting Mortgage Loan Data with Amazon Textract.
Ability to detect signatures on any document
With this feature, Amazon Textract provides the capability to detect handwritten signatures, e-signatures, and initials on documents such as loan application forms, checks, claim forms, and more. The Signatures feature is available as part of the AnalyzeDocument API. It reduces the need for human reviewers and helps you reduce costs, save time, and build scalable solutions for document processing. AnalyzeDocument Signatures provides the location and the confidence scores of the detected signatures. The feature can be used standalone or in combination with other AnalyzeDocument features. Signatures is pre-trained on a wide a variety of financial, insurance, and tax documents. Learn more about how to use this feature in our documentation for the AnalyzeDocument API.
AnalyzeDocument Forms enhancements for boxed forms and E13B font
Amazon Textract has made quality enhancements to the Text and Forms extraction features available as part of the AnalyzeDocument API.
These updates improve overall key-value pair extraction accuracy and specifically improve extraction of data captured in single-character boxed forms commonly found in tax, immigration, and other forms. Amazon Textract is now able to utilize its knowledge of these single-character boxed forms to provide higher accuracies in key-value pair extraction.
Additionally, we are pleased to announce support for E13B fonts commonly found in deposit checks, accuracy improvements to detect International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) found in banking documents, and long words (such as email addresses) via the AnalyzeDocument API. Businesses across industries like insurance, healthcare, and banking utilize these documents in their business processes and will automatically see the benefits of this update when using the AnalyzeDocument API.
AnalyzeExpense API adds new fields and OCR output
The update to the AnalyzeExpense API increases the number of normalized fields to over 40. The newly supported normalized fields include summary fields such as vendor address and line-item fields such as product code. With this new capability, you can directly extract your desired information and save time writing and maintaining complex postprocessing code. Besides support for new fields, we have further improved the accuracy for fields such as vendor name and total that were already supported in the previous version.
Along with normalized key-value pairs and regular key value pairs, AnalyzeExpense now provides the entire OCR output in the API response. You can obtain both key-value pairs and the raw OCR extract through a single API request. Learn more about the AnalyzeExpense API in Analyzing Invoices and Receipts.
Analyze ID machine-readable zone code support and OCR output
Analyze ID adds support to extract the machine-readable zone (MRZ) code on US passports. This is in addition to the other fields you can extract on US passports, such as document number, date of birth, and date of issue, for a total of 10 fields. You can continue to extract 19 fields from US driver’s licenses, including inferred fields such as first name, last name, and address. Besides support for the new MRZ code field, we have further improved the accuracy for fields such as expiration date and place of birth that were already supported in the previous version.
Along with normalized key-value pairs, Analyze ID provides the entire OCR output in the API response with this release. You can obtain both key-value pairs and the raw OCR extract through a single API request. Learn more about our Analyze ID API in Analyzing Identity Documents.
2022 – Q3
Accuracy enhancements for Text (OCR) extraction
The latest Text (OCR) extraction models available via the DetectDocumentText API improve word and line extraction accuracy. Amazon Textract also added support for E13B font extraction, which is commonly found in checks, IBAN numbers found in banking documents, and improved accuracy on longer words such as email addresses. To learn more about the launch, see Amazon Textract announces updates to the text extraction feature.
Accuracy enhancements for Forms extraction
Amazon Textract now provides enhanced key-value pair extraction accuracy for standardized documents with consistent layouts like select CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid) healthcare, IRS tax, and ACORD insurance forms. These documents have traditionally been challenging to extract information from due to their dense and complex layouts. Amazon Textract is now able to utilize its knowledge of these standardized forms to provide higher accuracies in key-value pair extraction. Businesses across industries like insurance, healthcare, and banking will automatically see the benefits of this update when they use the Forms extraction feature. For more information, refer to Amazon Textract announces quality update to its Forms extraction feature.
Integration with AWS Service Quotas
You can now proactively manage all your Amazon Textract service quotas via the AWS Service Quotas console. With Service Quotas, your quota increase requests can now be processed automatically, speeding up approval times in most cases. In addition to viewing default quota values, you can now view the applied quota values for your accounts in a specific Region, the historical utilization metrics per quota, and set up alarms to notify you when the utilization of a given quota exceeds a configurable threshold.
Also, you can now use the Amazon Textract Quota Calculator to easily estimate the quota requirements for your workload prior to submitting a quota increase request directly from the AWS Service Quotas console. For more information, see Introducing self-service quota management and higher default service quotas for Amazon Textract.
Increased default service quotas for Amazon Textract
Amazon Textract now has higher default service quotas for several asynchronous and synchronous API operations in multiple major AWS Regions. Specifically, higher default service quotas are now available for AnalyzeDocument and DetectDocumentText API asynchronous and synchronous operations in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and Europe (Ireland) Regions. For more details, refer to Introducing self-service quota management and higher default service quotas for Amazon Textract.
Job processing time reduction on Amazon Textract asynchronous APIs
Amazon Textract offers synchronous APIs like DetectDocumentText, AnalyzeDocument, AnalyzeExpense, and AnalyzeID, which return the actual document response, and asynchronous APIs like StartDocumentTextDetection, StartDocumentAnalysis, and StartExpenseAnalysis, which allow you to submit multi-page documents and receive a notification when the job processing is complete.
In the past, customers told us they often saw large variability in asynchronous job processing times depending on their use case. Based on your feedback, we have improved the experience such that you can expect to see tighter bounds on the asynchronous job processing time taken with lower variability.
Amazon Textract continuously improves based on customer feedback and releases new features and improvements to the service frequently.
The new features are available in all Regions, unless specific Regions are mentioned for a feature.
About the Author
Martin Schade is a Senior ML Product SA with the Amazon Textract team. He has 20+ years of experience with internet-related technologies, engineering and architecting solutions and joined AWS in 2014, first guiding some of the largest AWS customers on most efficient and scalable use of AWS services and later focused on AI/ML with a focus on computer vision and at the moment is obsessed with extracting information from documents.
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