What Is Natural Language Understanding NLU ?

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

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

For instance, understanding whether a customer is looking for information, reporting an issue, or making a request. On the other hand, entity recognition involves identifying relevant pieces of information within a language, such as the names of people, organizations, locations, and numeric entities. Times are changing and businesses are doing everything to improve cost-efficiencies and serve their customers on their own terms. In an uncertain global economy and business landscape, one of the best ways to stay competitive is to utilise the latest, greatest, and most powerful natural language understanding AI technologies currently available.

  • Without NLU, Siri would match your words to pre-programmed responses and might give directions to a coffee shop that’s no longer in business.
  • Examples include hidden Markov models, support vector machines, and conditional random fields.
  • It can be used to help customers better understand the products and services that they’re interested in, or it can be used to help businesses better understand their customers’ needs.
  • Additionally, the NLG system must decide on the output text’s style, tone, and level of detail.
  • Therefore, NLU is often the fastest way for humans and computers to interact.

The task of predicting the next word is equivalent to |V|-category classification. Therefore we feed h1 into a fully connected layer of size h_dim×|V|, and obtain a vector with dimension |V|. Thus we select the word w1 with the highest score as the predicted second word. The event calculus formulas are fed to an event calculus reasoning program, which uses the commonsense knowledge to produce additional event calculus formulas, or inferences. Next comes dependency parsing which is mainly used to find out how all the words in a sentence are related to each other.

Some of the capabilities your NLU technology should have

Akkio offers an intuitive interface that allows users to quickly select the data they need. Even your website’s search can be improved with NLU, as it can understand customer queries and provide more accurate search results. Therefore, their predicting abilities improve as they are exposed to more data. Chatbots are likely the best known and most widely used application of NLU and NLP technology, one that has paid off handsomely for many companies that deploy it. For example, clothing retailer Asos was able to increase orders by 300% using Facebook Messenger Chatbox, and it garnered a 250% ROI increase while reaching almost 4 times more user targets.

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

Not only does this save customer support teams hundreds of hours, but it also helps them prioritize urgent tickets. NLU chatbots allow businesses to address a wider range queries at a reduced operational cost. These chatbots can take the reins of customer service in areas where human agents may fall short. For example, a call center that uses chatbots can remain accessible to customers at any time of day. Because chatbots don’t get tired or frustrated, they are able to consistently display a positive tone, keeping a brand’s reputation intact.

How to use AI to build your business

Even with these limitations, NLU-enhanced artificial intelligence is already empowering customer support teams to level up their CX. Once you’ve identified trends — across all of the different channels — you can use these insights to make informed decisions on how to improve customer satisfaction. An NLU system capable of understanding the text within each ticket can properly filter and route them to the right expert or department. Because the NLU software understands what the actual request is, it can enable a response from the relevant person or team at a faster speed. The system can provide both customers and employees with reliable information in a timely manner.


Achieving low-latency NLU while maintaining accuracy presents a technical challenge requiring processing speed and efficiency innovations. These diverse applications demonstrate the immense value that NLU brings to our interconnected world. While Natural Language Processing (NLP) handles tasks like language translation and text summarization, NLU transcends these capabilities by understanding the essence of language.

Tools to implement NLU

This can provide a better customer experience but is more complicated to implement. If users deviate from the computer’s prescribed way of doing things, it can cause an error message, a wrong response, or even inaction. However, solutions like the Expert.ai Platform have language disambiguation capabilities to extract meaningful insight from unstructured language data. It’s one thing to know what NLU is, but how does natural language understanding (NLU) work on an everyday basis?

Taking it further, the software can organize unstructured data into comprehensible customer feedback reports that delineate the general opinions of customers. This data allows marketing teams to be more strategic when it comes to executing campaigns. Your software can take a statistical sample of recorded calls and perform speech recognition after transcribing the calls to text using machine translation. The NLU-based text analysis can link specific speech patterns to negative emotions and high effort levels. This reduces the cost to serve with shorter calls, and improves customer feedback.

Natural language understanding is how a computer program can intelligently understand, interpret, and respond to human speech. Natural language generation is the process by which a computer program creates content based on human speech input. There are several benefits of natural language understanding for both humans and machines.

NLU, the technology behind intent recognition, enables companies to build efficient chatbots. In order to help corporate executives raise the possibility that their chatbot investments will be successful, we address NLU-related questions in this article. Traditional search engines work well for keyword-based searches, but for more complex queries, an NLU search engine can make the process considerably more targeted and rewarding. Suppose that a shopper queries “Show me classy black dresses for under $500.”  This query defines the product (dress), product type (black), price point (less than $500), and personal tastes and preferences (classy). Natural language is an integral part of our everyday lives, yet it has always been challenging to process. So likewise, natural language understanding NLU technologies quickly become an integral part of our lives.

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Often, Natural Language Understanding is a common component in the construction of virtual assistants, which allow customers to easily engage with modern self-service systems. With this technology, companies can make sure that customers get the support and guidance they need as quickly as possible, even if they’re not speaking to a human agent. The concept of NLP covers all the systems that work together to cover end-to-end interactions between humans and machines. It allows people and tools to talk to each other in a natural and human way. While NLP is critical in most human-facing artificial intelligence solutions, NLU is a lot more specialised. Certain NLU applications, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, require real-time processing to provide timely and contextually relevant responses.

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The journey to tackle these challenges is integral to the continued evolution of NLU and its capacity to enhance human-computer interaction and communication. NLU proceeds with syntax and grammar analysis after dissecting the text into tokens. Advanced parsing techniques are employed to construct a syntactic tree that represents the grammatical structure of the text, allowing NLU systems to navigate the intricacies of language structure.

Natural language understanding and generation are two computer programming methods that allow computers to understand human speech. NLP attempts to analyze and understand the text of a given document, and NLU makes it possible to carry out a dialogue with a computer using natural language. A sophisticated NLU solution should be able to rely on a comprehensive bank of data and analysis to help it recognize entities and the relationships between them. It should be able  to understand complex sentiment and pull out emotion, effort, intent, motive, intensity, and more easily, and make inferences and suggestions as a result. This is just one example of how natural language processing can be used to improve your business and save you money.

NLU is a subset of a broader field called natural-language processing (NLP), which is already altering how we interact with technology. These would include paraphrasing, sentiment analysis, semantic parsing and dialogue agents. In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, generative models have emerged as one of AI technology’s most captivating and…

In this case, the person’s objective is to purchase tickets, and the ferry is the most likely form of travel as the campground is on an island. NLU makes it possible to carry out a dialogue with a computer using a human-based language. This is useful for consumer products or device features, such as voice assistants and speech to text. NLU tools should be able to tag and categorize the text they encounter appropriately. Intent recognition identifies what the person speaking or writing intends to do.

how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

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how does natural language understanding (nlu) work?

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