Everyone uses language to communicate with one another from Humans to Computers. Even the computers that we use also have their own set of language. However, there is a major difference between the languages Computers use and the languages we use. We speak unstructured language whereas the computers use structured language. The Computer Language is a set of instruction that is fed into it to communicate properly. It cannot understand the normal structured language. That’s where the Natural Language processing comes!
What does Natural Language Processing or NLP mean?
Natural Language Processing (NLP) means the process where machines and computers understand and communicate back in the human language. It is a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence.
How does Natural Processing Language (NLP) function?
Natural Language Processing uses two main components for functioning which are:
- Natural Language Understanding (NLU): This means how the computer understands the instructions given. It works on ambiguity, that is, there can be several solutions for a single problem. NLU works on three things which are Lexical (words basis), Syntactical (parsing) and Referential (Reference).
- Natural Language Generation: After understanding the instruction the computer has to generate a reply for the user. This involves three things:
- Text planning (based on the knowledge base of the computer),
- Sentence Planning (Arranging the words in a meaningful way according to human language)
- Text realization (structuring the sentences to provide an output).
What are the Applications of NLP?
There are several places where Natural Language processing can be used. Here are some of the common applications of NLP:-
- Sentimental Analysis: It is done to understand the emotions regarding any post that is made on the website. The sad face emoji or the like button that comes with each post or tweet uses this Sentimental Analysis.
- Chatbot: You have come across chatbots which are programmed to communicate with its user in the human language.
- Speech Recognition: The things that come to one’s mind when talking about speech recognition are Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana. The process behind all these is NLP.
- Machine Translation: Google Translate is another application of NLP. It uses the NLP to translate the data from one unstructured language to another and back to it.
Some other common uses of NLP are:
- Spell Checking
- Keyword search
- Information extraction
- Advertisement matching (recommending ads based on your online history).
We need NLP these days because people are depending on Artificial Intelligence more than ever. Everyone carries a smart device which they use for their daily actions. The uses range from calling a cab to listening to a favorite song on their device. Big Tech-companies wants to make it easier for the people to communicate with their devices so the output is satisfying. That’s why NLP is gaining importance to make every smart device more user-friendly!