AI Academy: Introduction to Natural Language Processing

by: Michelle Fullwood, NLP Engineer

Overview

Welcome back to Posh’s AI Academy series. Our first post in this series touched on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Now, let’s zoom in on a sub-area of the field called natural language processing, or NLP for short, which is basically AI/ML applied to just about any task that involves understanding or generating natural language. Usually, NLP refers to dealing with natural language as written text, and speech processing is used to refer to dealing with natural language as spoken utterances.

So you want to build a chatbot

To build a viable chatbot, you need to be able to understand what the user says (“how do i join the credit union”) and generate the appropriate response (“Click here to learn how you can become a member…”). This corresponds to the two major sub-areas of NLP: natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG).

Source: Tweet by @TomerUllman, May 11 2020

Approaches to NLP

In our previous blog post, my colleague Dhairya talked about how AI can span everything from rules to machine learning to deep learning. What do these look like in the context of natural language processing?

Conclusion

Thanks for paying attention to the very end! I hope this has given you insight into what NLP tasks chatbots solve and how different approaches like rules, ML, and DL can solve them.

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