What is Natural Language Understanding & How Does it Work?

Language Matters: NLP vs NLU Insights

nlu nlp

NLP gives computers the ability to understand spoken words and text the same as humans do. The entity is a piece of information present in the user’s request, which is relevant to understand their objective. It is typically characterized by short words and expressions that are found in a large number of inputs corresponding to the same objective. Its main purpose is to allow machines to record and process information in natural language. Businesses can benefit from NLU and NLP by improving customer interactions, automating processes, gaining insights from textual data, and enhancing decision-making based on language-based analysis.

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For example, it is difficult for call center employees to remain consistently positive with customers at all hours of the day or night. However, a chatbot can maintain positivity and safeguard your brand’s reputation. Chatbots offer 24-7 support and are excellent problem-solvers, often providing instant solutions to customer inquiries. These low-friction channels allow customers to quickly interact with your organization with little hassle. In this step, the system looks at the relationships between sentences to determine the meaning of a text. This process focuses on how different sentences relate to each other and how they contribute to the overall meaning of a text.

A key difference between NLP and NLU: Syntax and semantics

However, it will take much longer to tackle ‘continuous’ speech, which will remain rather complex for a long time (Haton et al., 2006). NLU is also able to recognize entities, i.e. words and expressions are recognized in the user’s request (input) and can determine the path of the conversation. NLU is an algorithm that is trained to categorize information ‘inputs’ according to ‘semantic data classes’.


We can expect to see virtual assistants and chatbots that can better understand natural language and provide more accurate and personalized responses. Additionally, NLU is expected to become more context-aware, meaning that virtual assistants and chatbots will better understand the context of a user’s query and provide more relevant responses. NLU is widely used in virtual assistants, chatbots, and customer support systems. NLP finds applications in machine translation, text analysis, sentiment analysis, and document classification, among others. NER uses contextual information, language patterns, and machine learning algorithms to improve entity recognition accuracy beyond keyword matching. NER systems are trained on vast datasets of named items in multiple contexts to identify similar entities in new text.

Use Cases for Natural Language Understanding

Your NLU solution should be simple to use for all your staff no matter their technological ability, and should be able to integrate with other software you might be using for project management and execution. Here the user intention is playing cricket but however, there are many possibilities that should be taken into account. Difference between NLP, NLU, NLG and the possible things which can be achieved when implementing an NLP engine for chatbots. Behind the scenes, sophisticated algorithms like hidden Markov chains, recurrent neural networks, n-grams, decision trees, naive bayes, etc. work in harmony to make it all possible.

nlu nlp

The tokens are run through a dictionary that can identify a word and its part of speech. The tokens are then analyzed for their grammatical structure, including the word’s role and different possible ambiguities in meaning. A basic form of NLU is called parsing, which takes written text and converts it into a structured format for computers to understand. Instead of relying on computer language syntax, NLU enables a computer to comprehend and respond to human-written text. Thus, it helps businesses to understand customer needs and offer them personalized products. Data pre-processing aims to divide the natural language content into smaller, simpler sections.

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