[Quick Facts] What You Need to Know About Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing is a hot topic in the tech world right now. However, many people are probably unsure of what it is.

What Is Natural Language Processing?

In most cases, computers communicate based solely on code. Whether you’re clicking on a link in Google or using your favorite mobile app, the vast majority of software is just different parts of a computer system communicating in code. We can think of language as a code for how humans communicate, similar to how computer systems use code to communicate. Artificial intelligence links the two worlds in the form of natural language processing (NLP). NLP analyzes patterns of human speech and learns how to extract the true meaning and intent of what the person has said.

Why Is This Technology Important?

Eric was the first British robot. Bundesarchiv, Bild 102–09312 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

When computers are able to understand human speech, then the implications are profound. User feedback can be more natural and computers can be integrated into everyday human activities much more naturally. Essentially, natural language processing is a vital step on the road toward bridging the gap between man and machine.

Fast-Talker

Understanding human speech in real-time is actually a two-step process for computers. The first step is to make a transcript from what a person says. This is also called speech recognition. Second, natural language processing software trained by machine learning infers the meaning and intent from the words in the transcript. Thanks to advances in cloud computing, developers can now use this SDK from AimMatic to complete both steps in the blink of an eye on a kiosk, tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device that runs on Android. The SDK can even be used to transcribe and analyze nearly all of the world’s most widely-spoken languages and dialects, instantly. Thanks for the inspiration, C3PO!

C3PO and Anthony Daniels. By Joho345 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons