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Entity often refers to important pieces of information in text that represent real-world objects, such as people, places, organizations, dates, etc. These are referred to as named entities, and identifying these in a text is known as named entity recognition (NER), a subtask of information extraction. This process helps the models to understand the context and semantics associated with the text data.

For example, in the sentence “Apple Inc. was established in Cupertino, California in 1976”, “Apple Inc.”, “Cupertino, California”, and “1976” are examples of named entities referring to an organization, a location, and a date respectively. Identifying such entities is crucial in various applications, such as chatbots, knowledge graphs, customer support automation, document summarization, and more.

In another layer of AI, in the context of Entity-Relationship models in databases, an entity can represent a set of instances in a database, such as a person, a place, or an event, about which data can be stored.The essence of the term ‘entity’ in AI relates to well-defined data units or real-world objects that AI systems are tasked with identifying, categorizing, or understanding. The usage and specifics might differ based on the domain, but typically, entities in AI are components that provide context to data and help systems to process and understand information effectively.

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