Natural Language Processing (NLP) also known as computational linguistics, is a field of computer science specifically dealing with artificial intelligence and machine learning that aims to create computer systems that can understand ordinary human languages. If computers could understand natural languages then there would be no need for many computer programming languages. However, the complicated nature of human language with all of its rules and exceptions has proven to be the main reason NLP has not been accomplished yet. Understanding context, handling words with multiple meanings, deciphering idioms, etc. is difficult enough for a human trying to learn and understand a new language but it is even more complicated to be able to build a computer that can do these things.

            Nonetheless, significant advances in NLP have been made recently. For example, Siri and other programs that are able to interact with the user by using human language. Another interesting piece of technology is the Arria NLG Platform which is able to compile large amounts of complex data and compile and summarize it into ordinary language that is easy to understand. In addition, NLP is being implemented in the area of computer security with programs like Watson which can examine security documents to gain more information and develop better security systems. Other applications of NLP technology is translating text into different languages like google translate as well as analyzing the grammatical structure of sentences to increase understanding.

            A lot of progress has been made in the study of natural language processing, but the possibilities and potential is still endless. Computers being able to not only understand natural language but to be able to communicate using it, would improve the speed and efficiency of machines. With the increasing popularity of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the advancements in these areas and in NLP are increasing rapidly and there is no telling what the future holds.

 

My questions:

What kind of programming languages are to program a machine to understand natural language?

Would it ever be possible to eliminate all programming languages?

What are a couple common approaches to creating technology that can understand natural language?

 

Resources

 

Chapman, W.W., Nadkarni, P. M., & Ohno-Machado, L. (2011, September 1). Natural language processing: an introduction. Retrieved September 3, 2017, from Jamia:       https://academic.oup.com/jamia/article/18/5/544/829676/Natural-language-   processing-an-introduction

 

Knight, M. (2017, July 13). Natural Language Processing: The What, Why, and How. Retrieved

            September 3, 2017, from http://www.dataversity.net/natural-language-processing/

 

Sims, S. (n.d.). Everything You Need to Know about Natural Language Processing. Retrieved September 3, 2017, from KDnuggets: http://www.kdnuggets.com/2015/12/natural-language-processing-101.html