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NLU and NLP: what are they and how do they work?

In recent times, the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to the emergence of new concepts. Specifically,...


In recent times, the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to the emergence of new concepts. Specifically, in the field of chatbots, there are two key terms to be aware of: NLP and NLU.

What is NLP?

NLP stands for "Natural Language Processing", which is a component of artificial intelligence, whose main objective is to convert text into structured data to understand human speech as it is reproduced, by analyzing, understanding and generating natural language.

Chatbots using NLP have the ability to analyze sentiment, perceiving positive or negative connotations in a text. It is a skill widely used by marketing experts for analyzing interactions on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

In addition, they can learn languages. In fact, there are different language applications that use chatbots to teach a foreign language. This, for example, makes it possible to establish conversations between the application and users in several different languages.

Another example of the prominent use of NLP is its application in the field of financial markets, where there are bots that have an algorithmic trading system and provide comprehensive financial advice to investors to manage their wealth.

On the other hand, bots that apply NLP allow filtering spam, classifying texts and establishing whether an email is wanted or not. Many email providers make frequent use of this tool.

What is NLU?

It stands for "Natural Language Understanding" and is a branch of NLP. Its purpose is to enable a technological system to understand the meaning and intention behind a sentence. Due to the complexity of natural language understanding, it is one of the biggest challenges facing AI today.

NLU works through a powerful machine learning classification algorithm, statistical analysis of word order and frequency, and a large amount of training data, to understand the intent underlying the

message from a user.

One of the roles that NLU plays in chatbots is the improvement of the user experience: chatbots that use NLU maintain a more fluid conversation, without the need to use pre-established answers as in the case of NLP. This type of technology is used in sectors such as fast food restaurants, as it allows to manage orders, promotions, etc., and solve customer problems more efficiently than with other systems.

Virtual assistants configured with NLU can learn new skills from interaction with users. This application is especially useful for customer service because, as the chatbot has conversations with shoppers, its level of responsiveness improves.

The application of NLU and NLP in chatbots as business solutions are the fruit of the digital transformation brought about by the fourth industrial revolution. Knowing the role they play is essential for business success.



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