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What is Natural Language Processing?

The advancements of technology over time has come so far in the last couple of decades, more so than ever before in history. Technology has been able to revolutionize the way you think, act, and live your life in amazing ways, using resources that are literally at your fingertips. This idea of modern technology has been able to create a path for devices, whether they are computers or smartphones, to help automate your life and provide fast, high-powered information quickly and reliably. Part of this revolution in technology is made, in part, by Natural Language Processing, or the ability to help aid computers to understand the natural language from the voice of a human being.  

Artificial Intelligence

Natural Language Processing, also known as NLP, is essentially an artificial intelligence that aids computer software in their communications with human beings. You can almost think about it as a special translator that stands between you and your device. When communicating with the people around you, your brain functions as a processing unit. Your ears and your eyes take in valuable information during the communication process and your brain takes the information and processes it for you to understand. This is how natural language processing works for computers. The computer, when listening to your voice, needs a way to process and understand what is being spoken. Without the use of Natural Language Processing, your computer may not be able to fully understand the words you say and provide the services you need. This is why this kind of technology is so valuable for all of your electronic devices.  

The Process of Understanding

Just like any normal interaction, the typical conversation between you and a computer using Natural Language Processing will generally go like this:

·  You talk to the machine. This may be some sort of question or request.

·  The computer listens to what you say and records the dialogue.

·  There is a quick conversion process where the audio is put into text.

·  The text that comes from converting the audio is then processed through data.

·  The computer analyzes the data that was processed and respond to you through a custom audio file.

This may sound like quite a long process for computers to go through, but the speed by which all this happens is astonishing.  

How It Works

NLP applies important algorithms in order to identify the language spoken to the machine. There are rules and infrastructure in the language data code that is converted into something that the machine is able to understand. After the data has been revealed to the machine, the process of analyzing and providing a helpful response is deployed. There are times that the technology is unable to understand something a little more obscure, but by logging in the error it is able to learn and apply in future interactions.

The Use of Natural Language Processing

The true driving force of Natural Language Processing comes from common everyday applications, such as personal assistant applications on your smartphones or other smart devices around the house or language translation applications found online or in stores. Other people are able to find a great use of Natural Language Processing through word processors by using applications that allow them to speak out a sentence, which is then written into the word processor with a fairly agile response time. You may have also noticed the use of Natural Language Processing when calling a store or service provider and finding yourself talking to a computer system that listens and processes your requests. This technology is used all over the place, and this is just the beginning.

Developer Use

Natural Language Processing is not only viable to consumers, it is also a great tool for developers. Whether you are a developer for video games or the internet, the usage of NLP could greatly help you with your process. From summarizing blocks of test in order to extract important ideas and ignoring information that is otherwise irrelevant, to being able to identify the type of word from the extraction, NLP could be a great way to cut down the time spent in development.

As you have seen here, Natural Language Processing is an important piece of technology that is used in everyday life around the world. It is a critical part of interactions between humans and machines. As machines continue to learn and evolve from these everyday interactions, so too will your ability to rely more on your electronic devices to provide you with helpful and meaningful functions into the future.

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