Natural Language Processing, also defined NLP, is the artificial intelligence area regarding the interaction between computers and human language.
Particularly, it concerns the study and the extraction of intrinsic meaning of a sentence or a text expressed in natural language in order to analyze and comprehend it to extract important information.
The goal of NLP is that one of allowing computers to communicate with humans in their language, the purpose is to make them able to read a text, listen a voice, interpret it, measure the sentiment (through “sentiment analysis”) and determine which are the most significant contents.
These algorithms are born with the goal of analyzing the grammar rules of natural language but, due to the ambiguity and to the peculiar characteristics of it, this process results complex and articulated.
The process, due to its complexity, is divided in 3 different phases:
- Lexical Analysis: through the study and the decomposition of sentences in input some keywords are identified, and are called “token”;
- Grammar analysis: it consists in identifying the lexical category of each word;
- Syntactic analysis: used to understand the relationship among the single units of the sentence, it consists in creating a syntactic structure called “parse tree”.
- Semantic analysis: it consists in the identification of entities with semantic meaning and as a consequence in the association of a meaning to a syntactic structure, that is to the linguistic expression.
The elaboration of natural language helps and support all those activities that need the comprehension of a text or of a voice.
Particularly among the most famous applications we find virtual assistants, defined as chatbot, that allow, for example, to assist clients or to allow users to book something.
The use of virtual assistants allows to improve customer care, while an interesting use in marketing consists in using techniques of sentiment analysis to analyze reviews or posts on social networks, by identifying the polarity (positive, negative, neutral) of a comment.
The elaboration of natural language allows an automatic and efficient management of documentary classification. In fact, through the extraction of information contained in documents. These can be organized and divided in different criteria.
A practical example can be the automatic screening of CVs, that allows recruiter to be more concentrated only on CVs truly related to the offer, or systems of question answering, that put at the disposal documents\articles more inherent compared with the questions.
Another use of the NLP is the automatic creation of texts through the training of neural nets on a particular type of text. This net will be able both to suggest the next word when one is writing, and to write automatically some texts starting from keywords given by the user.
For sure NLP has several applications in different areas, but the characteristic that bring together all its using is to allow the deletion of repetitive and alienating work, by doing it automatically following prefixed standard and by allowing a redistribution of human resources in those roles where ingenuity and the human capability are essential.
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