What’s the Difference Between NLP, NLU, and NLG?

Business applications often rely on NLU to understand what people are saying in both spoken and written language. This data helps virtual assistants and other applications determine a user’s intent and route them to the right task. Trying to meet customers on an individual level is difficult when the scale is so vast. Rather than using human resource to provide a tailored experience, NLU software can capture, process and react to the large quantities of unstructured data that customers provide at scale.

Difference Between NLU And NLP

Organizations face a web of industry regulations and data requirements, like GDPR and HIPAA, as well as protecting intellectual property and preventing data breaches. Regional dialects and language support can also present challenges for some off-the-shelf NLP solutions. Rasa’s NLU architecture is completely language-agostic, and has been used to train models in Hindi, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, French, Arabic, and many more.

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Their goal is to deal with the human language, yet they are different. Twilio Autopilot, the first fully programmable conversational application platform, includes a machine learning-powered NLU engine. While both these technologies are useful to developers, NLU is a subset of NLP. This means that while all natural language understanding systems use natural language processing techniques, not every natural language processing system can be considered a natural language understanding one. This is because most models developed aren’t meant to answer semantic questions but rather predict user intent or classify documents into various categories .

Difference Between NLU And NLP

The verb that precedes it, swimming, provides additional context to the reader, allowing us to conclude that we are referring to the flow of water in the ocean. The noun it describes, version, denotes multiple iterations of a report, enabling us to determine that we are referring to the most up-to-date status of a file. Since then, with the help of progress made in the field of AI and specifically in NLP and NLU, we have come very far in this quest. The first successful attempt came out in 1966 in the form of the famous ELIZA program which was capable of carrying on a limited form of conversation with a user. In the world of AI, for a machine to be considered intelligent, it must pass the Turing Test.

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You can learn more about custom NLU components in the developer documentation, and be sure to check out this detailed tutorial. Natural language processing and its subsets have numerous practical applications within today’s world, like healthcare diagnoses or online customer service. Gone are the days when chatbots could only produce programmed and rule-based interactions with their users. Back then, the moment a user strayed from the set format, the chatbot either made the user start over or made the user wait while they find a human to take over the conversation. Going back to our weather enquiry example, it is NLU which enables the machine to understand that those three different questions have the same underlying weather forecast query.


Data pre-processing aims to divide the natural language content into smaller, simpler sections. ML algorithms can then examine these to discover relationships, connections, and context between these smaller sections. NLP links Paris to France, Arkansas, and Paris Hilton, as well as France to France and the French national football team. Thus, NLP models can conclude that “Paris is the capital of France” sentence refers to Paris in France rather than Paris Hilton or Paris, Arkansas. Whether it’s simple chatbots or sophisticated AI assistants, NLP is an integral part of the conversational app building process. And the difference between NLP and NLU is important to remember when building a conversational app because it impacts how well the app interprets what was said and meant by users.

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Build fully-integrated bots, trained within the context of your business, with the intelligence to understand human language and help customers without human oversight. For example, allow customers to dial into a knowledgebase and get the answers they need. Businesses use Autopilot to build conversational applications such as messaging bots, interactive voice response , and voice assistants. Developers only need to design, train, and build a natural language application once to have it work with all existing channels such as voice, SMS, chat, Messenger, Twitter, WeChat, and Slack.

Natural Language Processing is the process of analysing and understanding the human language. It’s a subset of artificial intelligence and has many applications, such as speech recognition, translation and sentiment analysis. When we delve a little deeper into the concept of natural language processing and allied concepts, things do get really interesting.


Before a computer can process unstructured text into a machine-readable format, first machines need to understand the peculiarities of the human language. NLG enables computers to automatically generate natural language text, mimicking the way humans naturally communicate — a departure from traditional computer-generated text. Natural Language Understanding can be considered the process of understanding and extracting meaning from human language. It is a subset of Natural Language Processing , which also encompasses syntactic and pragmatic analysis, as well as discourse processing. NLU is more focused on the machine learning aspect and it has multiple applications, right from categorisation of texts to archiving of data in relevant categories. This step is important because unless and until the system or machine is capable of understanding the data and its purpose, it can never analyse the information and neither can it produce the output.

What is difference between NLU and NLG?

NLU generates facts from NL by using various tools and techniques, such as POS tagger, parsers, and so on, in order to develop NLP applications. NLG start from facts like POS tags, parsing results, and so on to generate the NL. It is the process of reading and interpreting language.

Entity recognition identifies which distinct entities are present in the text or speech, helping the software to understand the key information. Named entities would be divided into categories, such as people’s names, business names and geographical locations. Numeric entities would be divided into number-based categories, such as quantities, dates, times, percentages and currencies. Two key concepts in natural language processing are intent recognition and entity recognition. Accurately translating text or speech from one language to another is one of the toughest challenges of natural language processing and natural language understanding.

NLP vs NLU vs NLG: Differences and Applications

IVR technology is able to improve a business’s phone system infrastructure. Companies can leverage IVR to provide customers with voice assistant software that interacts with them, gathers information, and performs tasks based on customer feedback. If certain assignments are too complex for the assistant, the software is able to enable fluent communication between a caller and a human agent. Even the best NLP systems are only as Difference Between NLU And NLP good as the training data you feed them. Compared to other tools used for language processing, Rasa emphasises a conversation-driven approach, using insights from user messages to train and teach your model how to improve over time. Rasa’s open source NLP works seamlessly with Rasa Enterprise to capture and make sense of conversation data, turn it into training examples, and track improvements to your chatbot’s success rate.

  • NLU is more focused on the machine learning aspect and it has multiple applications, right from categorisation of texts to archiving of data in relevant categories.
  • Data scientists rely on natural language understanding technologies like speech recognition and chatbots to extract information from raw data.
  • It takes data from a search result, for example, and turns it into understandable language.
  • NLP APIs can be an unpredictable black box—you can’t be sure why the system returned a certain prediction, and you can’t troubleshoot or adjust the system parameters.
  • NLP can analyze text and speech, performing a wide range of tasks that focus primarily on language structure.
  • However, NLG can use NLP so that computers can produce humanlike text in a way that emulates a human writer.

It is a way that enables interaction between a computer and a human in a way like humans do using natural languages like English, French, Hindi etc. NLU is often implemented in tandem with natural language generation . While the former enhances the comprehension capabilities of AI, the latter gives computers the capacity to generate meaningful data without the need for human intervention. Together, these two competencies allow artificial intelligence to understand what people say and answer back coherently.

Is neural network and NLP same?

Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) -refers to models of human neural networks that are designed to help computers learn. Natural Language Processing (NLP) -refers to systems that can understand language.

Learn how natural language understanding can transform your customer experience analysis. See how you can uncover what customers mean, not just what they say, empowering truly actionable insights. NLU is the final step in NLP that involves a machine learning process to create an automated system capable of interpreting human input. This requires creating a model that has been trained on labelled training data, including what is being said, who said it and when they said it . NLU is important to data scientists because, without it, they wouldn’t have the means to parse out meaning from tools such as speech and chatbots. We as humans, after all, are accustomed to striking up a conversation with a speech-enabled bot — machines, however, don’t have this luxury of convenience.

Difference Between NLU And NLP

NLP and NLU will analyze content on the stock market and break it down, while NLG will take the applicable data and turn it into a templated story for your site. If you produce templated content regularly, say a story based on the Labor Department’s quarterly jobs report, you can use NLG to analyze the data and write a basic narrative based on the numbers. Once a chatbot, smart device, or search function understands the language it’s “hearing,” it has to talk back to you in a way that you, in turn, will understand.

Using Natural Language Processing to Uncover Valuable Insights in … – insideBIGDATA

Using Natural Language Processing to Uncover Valuable Insights in ….

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Artificial intelligence assistants like Siri and Alexa use natural language processing to decipher the queries we ask them. It combines areas of study like AI and computing to facilitate human-computer interaction the way we would normally interact with another human. Being able to rapidly process unstructured data gives you the ability to respond in an agile, customer-first way. Make sure your NLU solution is able to parse, process and develop insights at scale and at speed.

  • BotPenguin is an AI powered chatbot platform that enables you to quickly and easily build incredible chatbots to communicate and engage your customers on website, Facebook and other platforms.
  • The interpretation capabilities of a language-understanding system depend on the semantic theory it uses.
  • Rasa Open Source is the most flexible and transparent solution for conversational AI—and open source means you have complete control over building an NLP chatbot that really helps your users.
  • Since customers’ input is not standardized, chatbots need powerful NLU capabilities to understand customers.
  • This enables you to build models for any language and any domain, and your model can learn to recognize terms that are specific to your industry, like insurance, financial services, or healthcare.
  • It takes your question and breaks it down into understandable pieces – “stock market” and “today” being keywords on which it focuses.

NLP is the specific type of AI that analyses written text, while NLU refers specifically to its application in speech recognition software. NLP is a field that deals with the interactions between computers and human languages. It’s aim is to make computers interpret natural human language in order to understand it and take appropriate actions based on what they have learned about it. This also includes turning the unstructured data – the plain language query – into structured data that can be used to query the data set. The Rasa Research team brings together some of the leading minds in the field of NLP, actively publishing work to academic journals and conferences.

  • In 1971, Terry Winograd finished writing SHRDLU for his PhD thesis at MIT.
  • It involves numerous tasks that break down natural language into smaller elements in order to understand the relationships between those elements and how they work together.
  • Deliver exceptional omnichannel experiences, so whenever a client walks into a branch, uses your app, or speaks to a representative, you know you’re building a relationship that will last.
  • All NLU tests support integration with industry-standard CI/CD and DevOps tools, to make testing an automated deployment step, consistent with engineering best practices.
  • See how you can uncover what customers mean, not just what they say, empowering truly actionable insights.
  • Artificial intelligence is necessary for natural language processing because it must decipher the spoken or written word.