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IDP Is Dead, Long Live IDP!

Maxime Vermeir

January 18, 2023

“IDP is Dead, Long Live IDP” – a phrase that echoes the sentiment of transformation and continuity. Just as in the historical proclamation 'The King is Dead, Long Live the King,' we are witnessing a pivotal moment in the realm of intelligent document processing (IDP). This isn’t the end; it’s a rebirth, a metamorphosis into something more potent and significant for the future of AI (artificial intelligence).


The evolution of intelligent document processing (IDP)

In the heart of this transformation lies a technology we've known for decades – optical character recognition (OCR). Once a straightforward tool for digitizing text, OCR now plays a vital role in training large language models (LLMs) with high-quality data. This evolution from a simple text conversion tool to a sophisticated data provider illustrates the adaptability and enduring relevance of IDP technologies. The old IDP is paving the way for a new era where precision and context are paramount.

Real-world applications and challenges

Today's OCR isn’t just about reading text; it's about understanding it in its entirety. Businesses demand higher accuracy and deeper data insights, which necessitates IDP technologies to be more advanced and nuanced. However, this evolution isn't without challenges. The balance between accuracy and contextual understanding becomes crucial. How do we ensure that the data fed into AI systems isn't just accurate, but also contextually relevant?

The future of intelligent document processing (IDP)

The future of IDP lies in its ability to not only evolve, but to revolutionize the way we think about data and AI. It's about creating systems that don’t just process documents but understand them, extracting not just data but insights. This new IDP will be the cornerstone in the ever-evolving landscape of AI, a critical component in building more intelligent, efficient, and intuitive systems. 



The inner workings of modern IDP

As we embrace this new era of IDP, it's crucial to understand the technological advancements driving this transformation. The core of modern intelligent document processing lies in its integration with advanced AI techniques, particularly in the realm of machine learning and natural language processing.

Enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) through large language models (LLMs)

Traditional OCR systems relied heavily on predefined templates and rigid rule-based systems. However, with the infusion of machine learning, OCR technology has transcended these limitations. Today's OCR systems are equipped with deep learning algorithms and large language models (LLMs), enabling them to learn from a vast array of document formats and styles. This adaptability allows for higher accuracy in data extraction, even from complex or low-quality documents.

Contextual understanding with natural language processing (NLP)

The integration of natural language processing (NLP) takes IDP a step further. It's no longer about merely extracting text; it's about understanding the context behind it. NLP algorithms analyze the extracted text for semantic meaning, enabling systems to interpret the data in much the same way a human would. This capability is pivotal in transforming raw data into actionable insights.

Continuous learning and adaptation

The beauty of modern IDP systems lies in their ability to continuously learn and improve. By incorporating feedback loops, these systems can refine their algorithms, adapt to new document types, and enhance their accuracy over time. This ongoing learning process ensures that IDP remains relevant and effective, even as the types and formats of documents evolve.



The role of high-quality data when training large language models (LLMs)

Understanding how LLMs like GPT-4, Claude, Llama, and others are trained with IDP-derived data reveals the symbiotic relationship between these technologies. Here's a breakdown of the process:

Data collection and preprocessing

The journey begins with data collection, where IDP systems like OCR scan and digitize textual data from various documents. This data, however, often contains inconsistencies, errors, or variations. Preprocessing steps, including noise reduction, normalization, and error correction, are crucial to ensure the quality and uniformity of the data.

Data structuring and annotation

Once the data is preprocessed, it needs to be structured and annotated. This involves categorizing the data, tagging it with metadata, and providing contextual annotations. This step is vital for LLMs to understand not just the data, but the context and nuances within it.

Feeding data into LLMs

The prepared data is then fed into the training algorithms of the LLMs. These algorithms, using techniques like deep learning and neural networks, analyze and learn from the data. The goal is for the language model to understand language patterns, context, and semantics, essentially learning how to 'speak' and 'understand' human language.

Training and fine-tuning

The training process involves exposing the LLM to vast amounts of data, allowing it to learn and adapt. This phase is iterative, with continuous adjustments and fine-tuning based on the LLM's performance. The quality of the IDP data directly impacts the LLM's ability to generate accurate, relevant, and coherent text.

Validation and testing

Once trained, the LLM undergoes rigorous testing and validation. This includes checking its ability to understand and generate language across different domains, styles, and formats. The feedback from this phase feeds back into the training loop, further refining the LLM's capabilities.


Dawn of a new era

The proclamation 'IDP is Dead, Long Live IDP' is not a contradiction, rather a testament to the resilient and evolving nature of technology. What we knew as IDP has transformed, and in its place stands a more advanced, more integral part of the AI ecosystem. It's a thrilling time to be part of this journey, witnessing the dawn of a new era in intelligent document processing and artificial intelligence. 


Learn why ABBYY is named a leader in IDP for the fourth consecutive year and download the report by Everest Group. ABBYY Vantage is the industry’s only low-code / no-code IDP platform that integrates into any intelligent automation platform. Accelerate your automation journey with pre-trained AI skills, schedule a Vantage demo.

Learn more about ABBYY Vantage


Maxime Vermier ABBYY

Maxime Vermeir

Senior Director of AI Strategy

With a decade of experience in product and technology, Maxime Vermeir is an entrepreneurial professional with a passion for creating exceptional customer experiences. As a leader, he has managed global teams of innovation consultants and led large enterprises' transformation initiatives. Creating insights into new technologies and how they can drive higher customer value is a key point in Maxime’s array of Subject Matter Expertise. He is a trusted advisor and thought leader in his field, guiding market awareness for ABBYY's technologies.

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