NLP vs NLU vs. NLG: the differences between three natural language processing concepts

nlu and nlp

It is a way that enables interaction between a computer and a human in a way like humans do using natural languages like English, French, Hindi etc. As we approach the era of 163 zettabytes of data, it’s clear that NLP and NLU are not just buzzwords but indispensable tools for businesses. They offer the capability to decipher unstructured data, extract insights and provide personalized experiences. It involves tasks like entity recognition, intent recognition, and context management. ” the chatbot uses NLU to understand that the customer is asking about the business hours of the company and provide a relevant response.

nlu and nlp

In the world of AI, for a machine to be considered intelligent, it must pass the Turing Test. A test developed by Alan Turing in the 1950s, which pits humans against the machine. A task called word sense disambiguation, which sits under the NLU umbrella, makes sure that the machine is able to understand the two different senses that the word “bank” is used. In this context, another term which is often used as a synonym is Natural Language Understanding (NLU). However, these are products, not services, and are currently marketed, not to replace writers, but to assist, provide inspiration, and enable the creation of multilingual copy.

What is natural language understanding (NLU)?

GPT-2 is a well-known autocomplete model that has been used to produce essays, song lyrics, and much more. If you produce templated content regularly, say a story based on the Labor Department’s quarterly jobs report, you can use NLG to analyze the data and write a basic narrative based on the numbers. In fact, chatbots have become so advanced; you may not even know you’re talking to a machine.

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Everyone can ask questions and give commands to what is perceived as an “omniscient” chatbot. Big Tech got shaken up with Google introducing their LaMDA-based “Bard” and Bing Search incorporating GPT-4 with Bing Chat. We discussed this with Arman van Lieshout, Product Manager at, for our Conversational AI solution. Natural Language Processing allows an IVR solution to understand callers, detect emotion and identify keywords in order to fully capture their intent and respond accordingly. Ultimately, the goal is to allow the Interactive Voice Response system to handle more queries, and deal with them more effectively with the minimum of human interaction to reduce handling times. The procedure of determining mortgage rates is comparable to that of determining insurance risk.

It involves numerous tasks that break down natural language into smaller elements in order to understand the relationships between those elements and how they work together. Common tasks include parsing, speech recognition, part-of-speech tagging, and information extraction. One main area of advancement in NLP is deep learning and neural networks. These techniques have been shown to greatly improve the accuracy of NLP tasks, such as sentiment analysis, machine translation, and speech recognition. As these techniques continue to develop, we can expect to see even more accurate and efficient NLP algorithms. Some common applications of NLP include sentiment analysis, machine translation, speech recognition, chatbots, and text summarization.

The future for language

Once a chatbot, smart device, or search function understands the language it’s “hearing,” it has to talk back to you in a way that you, in turn, will understand. More importantly, for content marketers, it’s allowing teams to scale by automating certain kinds of content creation and analyze existing content to improve what you’re offering and better match user intent. The ultimate goal is to create an intelligent agent that will be able to understand human speech and respond accordingly. It works by taking and identifying various entities together (named entity recognition) and identification of word patterns. The word patterns are identified using methods such as tokenization, stemming, and lemmatization.

Natural language generation (NLG) is the process of transforming data into natural language using AI. As we summarize everything written under this NLU vs. NLP article, it can be concluded that both terms, NLP and NLU, are interconnected and extremely important for enhancing natural language in artificial intelligence. In recent years, with so many advancements in research and technology, companies and industries worldwide have opted for the support of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to speed up and grow their business.

NLP vs. NLU: What is the use of them?

As NLG algorithms become more sophisticated, they can generate more natural-sounding and engaging content. This has implications for various industries, including journalism, marketing, and e-commerce. As mentioned at the start of the blog, NLP is a branch of AI, whereas both NLU and NLG are subsets of NLP.

  • With FAQ chatbots, businesses can reduce their customer care workload (see Figure 5).
  • 86% of consumers say good customer service can take them from first-time buyers to brand advocates.
  • Learn about 4 types of chatbots and provide your customers with a unique automated experience.
  • Natural Language Processing, or NLP, involves the processing of human language by a computer program to determine what its meaning is.

The verb that precedes it, swimming, provides additional context to the reader, allowing us to conclude that we are referring to the flow of water in the ocean. The noun it describes, version, denotes multiple iterations of a report, enabling us to determine that we are referring to the most up-to-date status of a file. Here are some of the best NLP papers from the Association for Computational Linguistics 2022 conference. The terms might look like alphabet spaghetti but each is a separate concept. In fact, NLP includes NLU and NLG concepts to achieve human-like processing.


However, when it comes to understanding human language, isn’t at the point where it can give us all the answers. Apply natural language processing to discover insights and answers more quickly, improving operational workflows. NLP relies on language processing but should not be confused with natural language processing, which shares the same abbreviation. Ecommerce websites rely heavily on sentiment analysis of the reviews and feedback from the users—was a review positive, negative, or neutral? Here, they need to know what was said and they also need to understand what was meant.

nlu and nlp

Both Conversational AI and RPA automate previous manual processes but in a markedly different way. Increasingly, however, RPA is being referred to as IPA, or Intelligent Process Automation, using AI technology to understand and take on increasingly complex tasks. Natural Language Generation, or NLG, takes the data collated from human interaction and creates a response that a human can understand. Natural Language Generation is, by its nature, highly complex and requires a multi-layer approach to process data into a reply that a human will understand. Intent recognition and sentiment analysis are the main outcomes of the NLU. Thus, it helps businesses to understand customer needs and offer them personalized products.

The remaining 80% is unstructured data—the majority of which is unstructured text data that’s unusable for traditional methods. Just think of all the online text you consume daily, social media, news, research, product websites, and more. Based on some data or query, an NLG system would fill in the blank, like a game of Mad Libs. But over time, natural language generation systems have evolved with the application of hidden Markov chains, recurrent neural networks, and transformers, enabling more dynamic text generation in real time. Another area of advancement in NLP, NLU, and NLG is integrating these technologies with other emerging technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality.

  • Until recently, the idea of a computer that can understand ordinary languages and hold a conversation with a human had seemed like science fiction.
  • They improve the accuracy, scalability and performance of NLP, NLU and NLG technologies.
  • According to various industry estimates only about 20% of data collected is structured data.
  • It enables machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language in a valuable way.
  • Finding one right for you involves knowing a little about their work and what they can do.

But it can actually free up editorial professionals by taking on the rote tasks of content creation and allowing them to create the valuable, in-depth content for which your visitors are searching. It will use NLP and NLU to analyze your content at the individual or holistic level. While it can’t write entire blog posts for you, it can generate briefs that cover all the questions that should be answered, the keywords that should appear, and the internal and external links that should be included. Imagine you had a tool that could read and interpret content, find its strengths and its flaws, and then write blog posts that meet the needs of both search engines and your users.

He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. NLU skills are necessary, though, if users’ sentiments vary significantly or if AI models are exposed to explaining the same concept in a variety of ways. However, NLU lets computers understand “emotions” and “real meanings” of the sentences. For those interested, here is our benchmarking on the top sentiment analysis tools in the market.

Organisations leading in NLU

From answering customer queries to providing support, AI chatbots are solving several problems, and businesses are eager to adopt them. With FAQ chatbots, businesses can reduce their customer care workload (see Figure 5). As a result, they do not require both excellent NLU skills and intent recognition. Symbolic AI uses human-readable symbols that represent real-world entities or concepts. Logic is applied in the form of an IF-THEN structure embedded into the system by humans, who create the rules.

NLP-driven machines can automatically extract data from questionnaire forms, and risk can be calculated seamlessly. If it is raining outside since cricket is an outdoor game we cannot recommend playing right??? As you can see we need to get it into structured data here so what do we do we make use of intent and entities.

nlu and nlp

In conversational AI interactions, a machine must deduce meaning from a line of text by converting it into a data form it can understand. This allows it to select an appropriate response based on keywords it detects within the text. Other Natural Language Processing tasks include text translation, sentiment analysis, and speech recognition. With AI and machine learning (ML), NLU(natural language understanding), NLP ((natural language processing), and NLG (natural language generation) have played an essential role in understanding what user wants. Now that we understand the basics of NLP, NLU, and NLG, let’s take a closer look at the key components of each technology.

Also, NLP processes a large amount of human data and focus on use of machine learning and deep learning techniques. In AI, two main branches play a vital role in enabling machines to understand human languages and perform the necessary functions. These approaches are also commonly used in data mining to understand consumer attitudes. In particular, sentiment analysis enables brands to monitor their customer feedback more closely, allowing them to cluster positive and negative social media comments and track net promoter scores.

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