Applications of NLP, New Tech, and Software Developments
Through the advent of Natural Language Processing or NLP, software developers have been able to develop applications that allow computer programs to mimic and reproduce human text and speech. While many of these applications and products, such as popular voice assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Siri, are already well known to consumers around the globe, Natural Language Processing is also at the forefront of various other products, services, and online features that may be less apparent to the general public. With this being said, there are a multitude of real-world applications of Natural Language Processing that many people may have been unaware of.
Email filters are perhaps the most common real-world application of Natural Langauge Processing around the world today. While these filters were initially created for the purposes of managing email spam messages, many major email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo utilize Natural Language Processing to allow users of their respective platforms to curate and customize their email messages to their preferences. Through the application of Natural Language Processing, consumers can automatically filter their email results in accordance with certain words or phrases. Whether it be in the form of a college student looking to filter emails from a certain professor or a business professional looking to organize their work-related emails, email filters have had a significant impact on online communication.
Have you ever begun typing a word or phrase into Google only to have that word or phrase suggested to you after only typing a few letters? This is made possible through the application of Natural Language Processing, as the technology enables major search engines like Google to provide users with relevant search results in conjunction with similar search behaviors that have been observed by millions of other consumers. From checking the score of your favorite sports team to checking the weather forecast for the upcoming week within your city, the application Natural Language Processing in the context of search engine results allows consumers to find the information they are looking for in the most efficient manner possible.
Another extremely common application of Natural Language Processing is in predictive text. Much like the application of Natural Language Processing in search engines such as Google, NLP in the context of predictive text allows consumers to save time and effort when typing words into popular word processing programs such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Moreover, features such as autocorrect are also made possible through the application of Natural Language Processing, as a word processing program can predict the actual word that a user was trying to type through the patterns and similarities of the incorrect word when compared with the correct word. What’s more, these features also learn from consumers, enabling users to maintain their quirky writing styles while also ensuring everything they write is grammatically correct.
Translation and transcription
Automatic translation and transcription software programs also function through the application of Natural Language Processing. Using Natural Language Processing, these software programs are able to generate spoken words into written text, as well as translate text into a wide variety of languages, ranging from Spanish to Farsi. As translation particularly has been an arduous and time-consuming process from a historical perspective, these programs allow consumers to save significant amounts of time when translating from one language to another. Furthermore, as many languages have words or phrases that cannot be translated into any other language, these programs also allow users to achieve a level of grammatical accuracy in regard to translation that traditional services fall short of.
Digital phone calls
Have you ever received an automated phone call from a debt collector or advertising agency? These phone calls are made possible through the application of Natural Language Processing. To illustrate this point further, many consumers have made customer service phone calls and have been informed that their call may be recorded for training purposes. However, in many instances, these calls will instead be fed into a database for a Natural Language Processing system, allowing the system to learn and improve over time. Through such inputs, businesses and organizations are able to produce digital phone calls in accordance with the vocal patterns and intonations of phone calls of human beings.
Developments that have occurred in the field of Natural Language Processing over the course of the past 50 years have contributed to many features and capabilities that American consumers rely on to both communicate and complete their respective job functions. While the applications of NLP may be less subtle than other applications of artificial intelligence or machine learning, NLP has undoubtedly changed the way in which software developers are able to leverage and utilize human language and writing in terms of the creation of new forms of technology. As such, despite the various applications of NLP that currently exist today, there are many more advancements that are surely on the horizon.