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What is Natural Language Understanding NLU VUX World Liberty Media Portal

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

However, NLU systems face numerous challenges while processing natural language inputs. NLU also enables the development of conversational agents and virtual assistants, which rely on natural language input to carry out simple tasks, answer common questions, and provide assistance to customers. Natural language understanding (NLU) is already being used by thousands to millions of businesses as well as consumers. Experts predict that the NLP market will be worth more than $43b by 2025, which is a jump in 14 times its value from 2017. Millions of organisations are already using AI-based natural language understanding to analyse human input and gain more actionable insights. If humans find it challenging to develop perfectly aligned interpretations of human language because of these congenital linguistic challenges, machines will similarly have trouble dealing with such unstructured data.

  • This can free up time for employees to focus on more important tasks and help organizations become more efficient and productive.
  • Recommendations on Spotify or Netflix, auto-correct and auto-reply, virtual assistants, and automatic email categorization, to name just a few.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) is an interdisciplinary domain which is concerned with understanding natural languages as well as using them to enable human–computer interaction.

Another important application of NLU is in driving intelligent actions through understanding natural language. This involves interpreting customer intent and automating common tasks, such as directing customers to the correct departments. This not only saves time and effort but also improves the overall customer experience.

Natural language processing

Next, the segmented data will generate a type of language model to help computers learn about the probability of certain words being used in the same sentences or in specific contexts. Voice assistants and virtual assistants have several common features, such as the ability to set reminders, play music, and provide news and weather updates. They also offer personalized recommendations based on user behavior and preferences, making them an essential part of the modern home and workplace. As NLU technology continues to advance, voice assistants and virtual assistants are likely to become even more capable and integrated into our daily lives. Unlock the value in unstructured data – text, images, voice – with search, analytics, NLP, and machine learning. If people can have different interpretations of the same language due to specific congenital linguistic challenges, then you can bet machines will also struggle when they come across unstructured data.

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

Here are some of the most common natural language understanding applications. It encompasses everything that revolves around enabling computers to process human language. This includes receiving inputs, understanding them, and generating responses. The first step in NLU involves preprocessing the textual data to prepare it for analysis.


In short, NLU brings a lot of varied business value; however, it is important to remember that NLU is only a subset of NLP capabilities, which are required to provide “smart” answers to “smart” questions. NLU only tells half of the story, or rather, it only asks the question, a smart search engine delivers the answer. Once an intent has been determined, the next step is identifying the sentences’ entities. For example, if someone says, “I went to school today,” then the entity would likely be “school” since it’s the only thing that could have gone anywhere. This will help improve the readability of content by reducing the number of grammatical errors.

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

Throughout the years various attempts at processing natural language or English-like sentences presented to computers have taken place at varying degrees of complexity. Some attempts have not resulted in systems with deep understanding, but have helped overall system usability. For example, Wayne Ratliff originally developed the Vulcan program with an English-like syntax to mimic the English speaking computer in Star Trek. Therefore, NLU can be used for anything from internal/external email responses and chatbot discussions to social media comments, voice assistants, IVR systems for calls and internet search queries. On the contrary, natural language understanding (NLU) is becoming highly critical in business across nearly every sector. Parsing is merely a small aspect of natural language understanding in AI – other, more complex tasks include semantic role labelling, entity recognition, and sentiment analysis.

NLU is a form of data science that reads and analyzes the information gleaned from natural language processing. Additionally, it relies upon specific algorithms to help computers distinguish the intent of spoken or written language. NLU is also helps computers distinguish between and sort specific “entities,” which function somewhat like categories.


By using training data, chatbots with machine learning capabilities can grasp how to derive context from unstructured language. Two people may read or listen to the same passage and walk away with completely different interpretations. If humans struggle to develop perfectly aligned understanding of human language due to these congenital linguistic challenges, it stands to reason that machines will struggle when encountering this unstructured data.

Pipeline of natural language processing in artificial intelligence

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