NLP vs NLU: Understanding the Difference

difference between nlp and nlu

To conclude, distinguishing between NLP and NLU is vital for designing effective language processing and understanding systems. By embracing the differences and pushing the boundaries of language understanding, we can shape a future where machines truly comprehend and communicate with humans authentically and effectively. NLP takes input text in the form of natural language, converts it into a computer language, processes it, and returns the information as a response in a natural language.

To interpret a text and understand its meaning, NLU must first learn its context, semantics, sentiment, intent, and syntax. Semantics and syntax are of utmost significance in helping check the grammar and meaning of a text, respectively. Though NLU understands unstructured data, part of its core function is to convert text into a structured data set that a machine can more easily consume.

Still, NLU is based on sentiment analysis, as in its attempts to identify the real intent of human words, whichever language they are spoken in. This is quite challenging and makes NLU a relatively new phenomenon compared to traditional NLP. Since NLU can understand advanced and complex sentences, it is used to create intelligent assistants and provide text filters.

NLU converts input text or speech into structured data and helps extract facts from this input data. NLP processes flow through a continuous feedback loop with machine learning to improve the computer’s artificial intelligence algorithms. Rather than relying on keyword-sensitive scripts, NLU creates unique responses based on previous interactions. NLP or natural language processing is evolved from computational linguistics, which aims to model natural human language data. Language processing is the future of the computer era with conversational AI and natural language generation. NLP and NLU will continue to witness more advanced, specific and powerful future developments.

difference between nlp and nlu

This enables machines to produce more accurate and appropriate responses during interactions. In machine learning (ML) jargon, the series of steps taken are called data pre-processing. The idea is to break down the natural language text into smaller and more manageable chunks. These can then be analyzed by ML algorithms to find relations, dependencies, and context among various chunks.

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. Ecommerce websites rely heavily on sentiment analysis of the reviews and feedback from the users—was a review positive, negative, or neutral? Here, they need to know what was said and they also need to understand what was meant.

In particular, sentiment analysis enables brands to monitor their customer feedback more closely, allowing them to cluster positive and negative social media comments and track net promoter scores. By reviewing comments with negative sentiment, companies are able to identify and address potential problem areas within their products or services more quickly. If a developer wants to build a simple chatbot that produces a series of programmed responses, they could use NLP along with a few machine learning techniques.

Where NLP helps machines read and process text and NLU helps them understand text, NLG or Natural Language Generation helps machines write text. If it is raining outside since cricket is an outdoor game we cannot recommend playing right??? As you can see we need to get it into structured data here so what do we do we make use of intent and entities. As we summarize everything written under this NLU vs. NLP article, it can be concluded that both terms, NLP and NLU, are interconnected and extremely important for enhancing natural language in artificial intelligence. With more progress in technology made in recent years, there has also emerged a new branch of artificial intelligence, other than NLP and NLU.

See how we can help you create SEO content faster and better.

So, if you’re conversing with a chatbot but decide to stray away for a moment, you would have to start again. It enables machines to produce appropriate, relevant, and accurate interaction responses. NLP excels in tasks that are related to processing and generating human-like language. Even website owners understand the value of this important feature and incorporate chatbots into their websites. They quickly provide answers to customer queries, give them recommendations, and do much more.

difference between nlp and nlu

However, when it comes to handling the requests of human customers, it becomes challenging. This is due to the fact that with so many customers from all over the world, there is also a diverse range of languages. At this point, there comes the requirement of something called ‘natural language’ in the world of artificial intelligence. Natural language processing starts with a library, a pre-programmed set of algorithms that plug into a system using an API, or application programming interface.

It is also used to provide predictive text suggestions in modern software. For instance, it helps systems like Google Translate to offer more on-point results that carry over the core intent from one language to another. In practical applications such as customer support, recommendation systems, or retail technology services, it’s crucial to seamlessly integrate these technologies for more accurate and context-aware responses. With an eye on surface-level processing, NLP prioritizes tasks like sentence structure, word order, and basic syntactic analysis, but it does not delve into comprehension of deeper semantic layers of the text or speech. Based on some data or query, an NLG system would fill in the blank, like a game of Mad Libs.

Interpretability vs Explainability: The Black Box of Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is one of the most talked about technologies of the modern era. However, Computers use much more data than humans do to solve problems, so computers are not as easy for people to understand as humans are. Even with all the data that humans have, we are still missing a lot of information about what is happening in our world. Both NLU and NLP use supervised learning, which means that they train their models using labelled data. NLP has many subfields, including computational linguistics, syntax analysis, speech recognition, machine translation, and more.

As the name suggests, the initial goal of NLP is language processing and manipulation. It focuses on the interactions between computers and individuals, with the goal of enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate natural language. Its main aim is to develop algorithms and techniques that empower machines to process and manipulate textual or spoken language in a useful way. As such, it deals with lower-level tasks such as tokenization and POS tagging.

difference between nlp and nlu

Therefore, the language processing method starts with NLP but gradually works into NLU to increase efficiency in the final results. Sentiment analysis and intent identification are not necessary to improve user experience if people tend to use more conventional sentences or expose a structure, such as multiple choice questions. Natural language processing and its subsets have numerous practical applications within today’s world, like healthcare diagnoses or online customer service. According to various industry estimates only about 20% of data collected is structured data. The remaining 80% is unstructured data—the majority of which is unstructured text data that’s unusable for traditional methods. Just think of all the online text you consume daily, social media, news, research, product websites, and more.

One of the main challenges is to teach AI systems how to interact with humans. In this section, we will introduce the top 10 use cases, of which five are related to pure NLP capabilities and the remaining five need for NLU to assist computers in efficiently automating these use cases. Figure 4 depicts our sample of 5 use cases in which businesses should favor NLP over NLU difference between nlp and nlu or vice versa. In the world of AI, for a machine to be considered intelligent, it must pass the Turing Test. A test developed by Alan Turing in the 1950s, which pits humans against the machine. A task called word sense disambiguation, which sits under the NLU umbrella, makes sure that the machine is able to understand the two different senses that the word “bank” is used.

Cem’s work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. The procedure of determining mortgage rates is comparable to that of determining insurance risk. As demonstrated in the video below, mortgage chatbots can also gather, validate, and evaluate data. False patient reviews can hurt both businesses and those seeking treatment. Sentiment analysis, thus NLU, can locate fraudulent reviews by identifying the text’s emotional character.

As the Managed Service Provider (MSP) landscape continues to evolve, staying ahead means embracing innovative solutions that not only enhance efficiency but also elevate customer service to new heights. Enter AI Chatbots from – a game-changing tool that can revolutionize how MSPs interact with clients. In this blog, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive roadmap consisting of six steps to boost profitability using AI Chatbots from Still, it can also enhance several existing technologies, often without a complete ‘rip and replace’ of legacy systems. NLU is particularly effective with homonyms – words spelled the same but with different meanings, such as ‘bank’ – meaning a financial institution – and ‘bank’ – representing a river bank, for example. Human speech is complex, so the ability to interpret context from a string of words is hugely important.

NLU leverages AI algorithms to recognize attributes of language such as sentiment, semantics, context, and intent. It enables computers to understand the subtleties and variations of language. For example, the questions «what’s the weather like outside?» and «how’s the weather?» are both asking the same thing. The question «what’s the weather like outside?» can be asked in hundreds of ways. With NLU, computer applications can recognize the many variations in which humans say the same things. Natural language processing is a subset of AI, and it involves programming computers to process massive volumes of language data.

Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) vs. Natural Language Understanding (NLU) –

Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) vs. Natural Language Understanding (NLU).

Posted: Wed, 19 Oct 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

You can learn more about custom NLU components in the developer documentation, and be sure to check out this detailed tutorial. This book is for managers, programmers, directors – and anyone else who wants to learn machine learning. NLP can process text from grammar, structure, typo, and point of view—but it will be NLU that will help the machine infer the intent behind the language text. So, even though there are many overlaps between NLP and NLU, this differentiation sets them distinctly apart.

The platform is designed to simplify complex data processing, ensuring data privacy and control while developing AI applications. provides AI-powered tools for managing customer and employee experiences, and online reputation. Their platform aids businesses in driving intelligent customer and employee feedback campaigns, amplifying marketing efforts, and enhancing customer-focused employee behavior. Paychex offers a range of services aimed at simplifying payroll and HR processes for businesses. Their solutions cover payroll, benefits, insurance, and HR administration. Hiflylabs provides tailored data services, including data engineering, science, and visualization.

Their tools assist in data quality governance, real-time data movement, and machine learning, supporting clients in various industries to leverage their data effectively. Zyte’s services are beneficial for businesses needing large-scale, reliable web data for market research, competitive analysis, and data-driven decision-making. EDLIGO GmbH is a leading company specializing in AI-powered Talent Analytics. EDLIGO offers an advanced, AI-powered comprehensive Talent Analytics solution for data-driven talent management, workforce planning, project staffing, competency management, employee experience, and retention management.

Natural Language Processing allows an IVR solution to understand callers, detect emotion and identify keywords in order to fully capture their intent and respond accordingly. Ultimately, the goal is to allow the Interactive Voice Response system to handle more queries, and deal with them more effectively with the minimum of human interaction to reduce handling times. He is a technology veteran with over a decade of experience in product development. He is the co-captain of the ship, steering product strategy, development, and management at Scalenut. His goal is to build a platform that can be used by organizations of all sizes and domains across borders. This allowed it to provide relevant content for people who were interested in specific topics.

Data Engineering

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. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. Common tasks include parsing, speech recognition, part-of-speech tagging, and information extraction. Conversational interfaces are powered primarily by natural language processing (NLP), and a key subset of NLP is natural language understanding (NLU). The terms NLP and NLU are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings.

  • Their approach focuses on collaboration, innovative solutions, and strategic insights to help clients make informed decisions.
  • In order to be able to work and interact with us properly, machines need to learn through a natural language processing (NLP) system.
  • Natural Language Processing(NLP) is a subset of Artificial intelligence which involves communication between a human and a machine using a natural language than a coded or byte language.
  • NLU converts input text or speech into structured data and helps extract facts from this input data.
  • This involves receiving human input, processing it, and putting out a response.
  • However, as discussed in this guide, NLU (Natural Language Understanding) is just as crucial in AI language models, even though it is a part of the broader definition of NLP.

Their technology supports businesses in various industries, ensuring efficient communications and collaboration, global reach, and data-driven insights. Offering reliable, secure, and compliant services, 8×8 integrates with business and CRM applications like Microsoft Teams and Salesforce. 8×8 delivers a unified platform for contact center, voice, video, chat, and embedded communications. Their solutions focus on enhancing customer experience, agent engagement, and employee connectivity.

It encompasses methods for extracting meaning from text, identifying entities in the text, and extracting information from its structure.NLP enables machines to understand text or speech and generate relevant answers. It is also applied in text classification, document matching, machine translation, named entity recognition, search autocorrect and autocomplete, etc. NLP uses computational linguistics, computational neuroscience, and deep learning technologies to perform these functions. NLU performs as a subset of NLP, and both systems work with processing language using artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning. With natural language processing, computers can analyze the text put in by the user.

However, it will take much longer to tackle ‘continuous’ speech, which will remain rather complex for a long time (Haton et al., 2006). DST is essential at this stage of the dialogue system and is responsible for multi-turn conversations. Then, a dialogue policy determines what next step the dialogue system makes based on the current state. Finally, the NLG gives a response based on the semantic frame.Now that we’ve seen how a typical dialogue system works, let’s clearly understand NLP, NLU, and NLG in detail. The space is booming, evident from the high number of website domain registrations in the field every week. The key challenge for most companies is to find out what will propel their businesses moving forward.

NLP and NLU have made these possible and continue shaping the virtual communication field. Two subsets of artificial intelligence (AI), these technologies enable smart systems to grasp, process, and analyze spoken and written human language to further provide a response and maintain a dialogue. NLP and NLU are technologies that have made virtual communication fast and efficient. These smart-systems analyze, process, and convert input into understandable human language.

difference between nlp and nlu

Let’s delve into these concepts to understand their differences, applications, and real-world examples. As a result, algorithms search for associations and correlations to infer what the sentence’s most likely meaning is rather than understanding the genuine meaning of human languages. Natural language understanding is a smaller part of natural language processing. Once the language has been broken down, it’s time for the program to understand, find meaning, and even perform sentiment analysis. So, if you’re Google, you’re using natural language processing to break down human language and better understand the true meaning behind a search query or sentence in an email.

  • Whereas in NLP, it totally depends on how the machine is able to process the targeted spoken or written data and then take proper decisions and actions on how to deal with them.
  • As humans, we can identify such underlying similarities almost effortlessly and respond accordingly.
  • Their services include building robust data pipelines, streamlining data processing, and leveraging AI for actionable insights.

Meanwhile, our teams have been working hard to introduce conversation summaries in’s Mobile Service Cloud. With NLP integrated into an IVR, it becomes a voice bot solution as opposed to a strict, scripted IVR solution. Voice bots allow direct, contextual interaction with the computer software via NLP technology, allowing the Voice bot to understand and respond with a relevant answer to a non-scripted question. Given that the pros and cons of rule-based and AI-based approaches are largely complementary,’s unique method combines both approaches.