Natural Language Interfaces

What is Natural Language Processing?

It's 2017 and by now it's almost impossible to imagine a successful business without a website. In only a couple years it’ll be that hard to imagine a productive business that doesn't rely on Natural Language Processing (NLP to make things simpler).

So what is Natural Language (NL) to begin with? Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds! Basically it's the language we humans use to communicate with each other (e.g. English, Spanish, Russian - you name it!). A Natural Language Interface (NLI) allows you to interact with machines using human language. Thanks to this type of user interface you no longer need to learn programming languages to communicate with your computer.

Yes, we can now talk to computers! And it's not as futuristic as you think. It's already part of our daily life. Here are some simple examples: Microsoft Word spelling and grammar autocorrect, email spam detection (so grateful for that one!). Google ́s search engine it's a great example of a natural language query, their question answering system seems to be able to fill in your search even before you finish typing. Last but not least, Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are perfect examples of NLP - thanks to their speech recognition features now we can simply ask our computers to do something for us, and they are smart enough to understand and answer back to us providing human-like interaction!

How can we benefit from Natural Language Processing Applications?

As impressive as it may sound, that's just the beginning. Natural Language API's–like FriendlyData- can help us maximize the benefits of these upcoming technologies and turn them into business productivity. How? Here are some ideas:

  • The future is all about data! A NLI lets you interact with your company's data in real time. In the older days of computers, when you needed any information from a database you had to write code (or get someone to do it for you) to translate whatever you were looking for into computer language (SQL). Now, thanks to the NLI you can skip this step and ask in your everyday language! The NLI comprehends your question and does the coding part for you automatically.
  • Increasing the interaction of your customers with a Natural Language Interface can help you gather more data and understand their preferences and behavior. Think about it this way: If it ́s easier to just speak to your music player (e.g. Spotify, Pandora) and tell it what you want to listen to, then more people would play their music this way and your company will collect more data that can help you get more users and keep them engaged.
  • You can handle customer service the efficient way - by analyzing and tailoring the experience of each user. You can help your customers solve their questions and give them new info that you know they’ll find interesting. Did I mention a bot employee could do this job? I know! Information search just got a lot cooler!
  • It’s all about mobility. By using an NLI you can access your data from any platform as simple as texting or talking - you no longer need to be chained to your computer. This super cool feature lets customers directly speak to your company, which of course will make you way more appealing and user friendly (I can finally see my granny going all tech friendly!)