In today’s day and age, a majority of us have a general understanding of what Artificial Intelligence entails, whether it be from a computer science course in college or a Black Mirror episode. But what’s Natural Language Processing? Did you know you probably already use it every day?
NLP is sentiment analysis on Facebook or Twitter when you react to a post with a like, emoji, or comment. It’s the chatbots on the lower corner of a website offering customer support. It’s speech recognition used by voice assistants like Siri or Alexa. It’s machine translation tools like Google Translate.
Simply put, NLP is the science of programming machines to understand human language. Since most of us use at least one of these daily, we know they’re imperfect. Bridging the gap between digital data and human communication is extraordinarily complicated as language is full of contextual rules and inflictions that even humans misinterpret among each other.
Although it needs work to measure up to the human brain, it’s an invaluable tool that companies like us use every day. Here are a few examples of how organizations benefit from NLP.
- Gathering Market Intelligence: Knowing what competitors in your industry are doing and why you’re losing clients to them is critical for developing a substantial and effective business strategy. However, a majority of this information is unstructured data- it doesn’t reside in a fixed field within a record or file ready to download onto a spreadsheet. This data is in images, audio files, emails, etc. NLP helps gather and analyze this type of information that even humans have a hard time organizing.
- Employee and Customer Feedback: Arguably, the most important type of data for companies. Traditionally employees have to scour through messages, reviews and lines of commentary searching for patterns, but NPL simplifies the quantification of this information. Sentiment analysis can also be used in social media monitoring to understand a customer’s attitude and responses. Measuring the sentiment of employees and customers is the first step in improving company operations.
- Customer Support: With the power of NLP businesses can offer 24/7 support at a lower cost. People don’t want to look through lines of FAQ’s on a company website, searching for a solution to their problem. They want quick answers from a reliable source. Chatbots are able to provide answers to most customer queries and concerns efficiently and at any given time of the day.
The incorporation of AI and NLP in any organization is gradually becoming the norm. When you keep track of your company’s most popular Instagram post, you’re already using it!