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Natural Language Processing (NLP): Meaning and Techniques

Nlp meaning

In this post, we’ll learn an NLP meaning that can be helpful for those interested in discovering the business applications of NLP – including programmers, managers, and anyone else who wants to discover how NLP will affect the business world.

Natural Language Processing (NLP): Meaning and Techniques

Natural language processing (NLP) is an AI discipline that processes, analyzes, and generates natural human language.

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More specifically, NLP focuses on areas such as: Data mining. Analyzing large sets of unstructured linguistic data.

  • Semantic analysis. Assessing the meaning of texts. 
  • Sentiment analysis. Scoring the sentiment, or positive and negative emotions, of a text.
  • Generative AI. Producing natural-sounding language.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) and speech recognition. Recognizing written characters or verbal speech. 
  • Syntactic analysis. Parsing and analyzing the grammar of a text. 
  • Text summarization. Rephrasing or summarizing text.

These are just a few examples of the most common NLP tasks and techniques, And although they may seem esoteric or irrelevant from a business perspective, NLP is being used to create cutting-edge AI apps that can and are adding significant bottom-line value to organizations around the world.

How NLP Can Drive Business Growth

NLP is a type of AI that can automate a number of business tasks, such as:

  • The digitization of business records. Physical records are costly, time-consuming to store and process, bad for the environment, and they can also be inaccurate. Using NLP techniques, such as OCR, businesses can save on processing and storing records. 
  • Scanning IDs. Certain businesses or government agencies, such as transportation security checkpoints at airports or border stations, will often use OCR technology to scan IDs. This removes the need for humans to manually enter data from the ideas, which can take time and increase the chances of errors. 
  • Extracting text from paper forms. Typically, when customers fill out a form at a business, staff will enter that information manually into a computer system. With the right technology, however, OCR and NLP applications can do this work on behalf of humans, saving both time and money.  
  • Offering customer support or technical support. Chatbots have become common in many online businesses. They can be used to not only provide information to customers, they can also be programmed to perform tasks automatically. WalkMe’s ActionBot, for example, can be programmed to perform work-related tasks without the need for human intervention.  
  • Dictating and transcribing text. There are many scenarios where people are required to transcribe text: business professionals take notes during meetings, stenographers transcribed court proceedings, reporters take notes at press conferences, and more. speech recognition can automate these tasks, saving significant time and money., For instance, automatically transcribes meeting notes and can export those into text files, word documents, and so forth.  

Additionally, NLP is actually transforming user interfaces for a number of applications, such as search engines. 

Google, for instance, is pioneering the use of NLP for voice user interfaces, the use of voice to perform searches for daily tasks such as scheduling appointments, sending emails, or making calls.

At first glance, these examples may not seem revolutionary or transformative, but they actually can drive significant business growth when used properly – they are, after all, a form of automation, which is being used to transform the way businesses operate. 

Tomorrow’s companies, some argue, will actually be driven by AI and machines, so technology such as this will become a pillar of tomorrow’s digital first organization.

To understand why let’s look at a few of the key advantages of NLP, AI, and automation:

  • Automation tools can performed tasks far more efficiently than humans. Not only do machines not make errors, they can perform tasks much more quickly and reliably, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • Automation tools cost less than human labor. Software can be scaled infinitely in the cloud, and at a far more affordable rate than human labor. Organizations that can exploit AI and automation, therefore, can generate massive productivity gains while spending less capital than their competitors. 
  • Machines perform tasks exponentially faster than people. Perhaps the most important point to note when it comes to automation tools is that they offer exponential gains in terms of cost, productivity, efficiency, and organizational performance. For example, a machine can instantaneously perform tasks that it takes humans minutes, hours, days, or weeks to perform. This creates an entirely new dimension that opens the door for innovations that have never existed before.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that AI and automation tools, such as NLP, open the door to an entirely new type of business model – the AI-powered business.

Key Takeaways

NLP technologies, such as OCR and voice recognition, can automate business activities and generate significant value for organizations. The effective use of these technologies can dramatically improve customer experiences, employee productivity, business processes, and more.

In conjunction with other automation technologies, however, AI-powered tools and techniques promise to significantly transform businesses from the ground up.

Any business professional interested in NLP, therefore, should pay close attention to how this field develops in the coming months and years.

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