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Natural language interpretation runs through AI

Thursday November 18, 2021

Artificial intelligence helps machines understand and process written text. Social media has given a boost to what we know as Natural Language Processing (NLP) which can also be used for marketing and therefore business purposes, let’s see how and why.

We are mindful that the Italian language is highly complicated compared to other languages; grammar rules, idioms, and phonetics take us into a world where the interpretation of natural language is very complicated for a machine. But do not despair! Today, thanks to the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), or natural language understanding and processing, is one of the solutions that are making the most progress. 

A study by Osservatori.net also confirms this. How can we implement what NLP does into reality? Think of automatic translation systems or the correction of a text, and purposes that can be both the understanding of a text’s context and the production of a text from data provided in advance. 

Natural language and formal language

Natural language, explains Celi Language Technology, refers to the language we use in everyday life and is synonymous with human language as distinct from formal language including the computer language. As it is, natural language is the most common form of human communication and not only in its spoken version, written language is also growing exponentially in recent years, since the mobile internet is buzzing with social media. Compared to formal language, natural language is much more complex often containing sub-understandings and ambiguities, which makes it very difficult to process. Behind the apparent simplicity of the result however, there is complex reasoning and work. Machines of such, follow very precise patterns of rules, for example by programming languages but language, especially Italian language, cannot be framed in easily interpretable rules. NLP deals only with texts, sequences of words that together express messages. Imagine a post, a web page, a tweet, which differs from speech processing that is another part. NLP brings solutions to analyse the syntax of a text, cutting and associating words and structural categories.

What can businesses do with NLP? 

Analysis of ‘text’ in order to identify key elements could be done such as topics and people, interpretation of a text in order to classify it whether it is spam or not, analysis of a review on a website by understanding its positivity or negativity, analysis from a text of the future behaviour of a client or potential client, and the translation of texts. 

The fact that the evolution of text comprehension has potential but in Italy it is struggling to take off. Again, according to Osservatori.net, there are a number of critical points noted by those who have started working on it. Firstly, the lack of datasets to train artificial intelligence engines. This implies the need to make massive investments but specific set of in-house skills are also required to develop these solutions. At this point a further problem is added: the Italian language does not always guarantee its comprehension and possible declinations, nor does it guarantee the understanding of the sentiment of the text in order to deduce its real meaning. No matter what the situation is, in time many steps have already been taken forward.