Topic 1 AI and NLP: understanding the nuances of language

NLP is a subfield of AI that focuses on enabling computers to comprehend, interpret, and generate human language. NLP techniques are used in a wide range of applications, including the following with an example.

One of the key challenges in NLP is understanding the nuances of human language, including the multiple meanings of words, idiomatic expressions, and contextual dependencies. NLP algorithms use various techniques, such as machine learning and deep learning, to analyze and interpret language data and generate appropriate responses or actions.

NLP applications:

  1. Virtual assistants (e.g. Google assistant): Google Assistant uses NLP to understand and interpret requests which can be made in natural language. For instance, users can say ‘Hey Google, what’s the weather like today?’ and Google assistant will provide a weather forecast and provide the information requested offering personalized responses considering the user’s location and other contextual information.
  2. Search engines (e,g. Google): Google uses several NLP techniques to understand the meaning and intent behind users’ questions in order to provide the most relevant search results. For example, Google will use some techniques like stemming (reducing words to their base form), or entity recognition (identifying specific people/things mentioned in the search), and analyzing relevance to the question. Importantly, NLP helps Google to understand whether they user is seeking to buy a product, perform a task or looking for general information.
  3. Machine translation (e.g. Google translation): Google Translate uses rule-based and statistical machine translation techniques to automatically translate text from one language to another. Google Translate uses NLP to analyse the structure and meaning of the source text, and to generate accurate and natural translations.