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What is NLP? Functions, Benefits, and How It Works

Last updated: Aug 25, 2022

What is NLP?

Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is a field of study that learns about the interactions between human and computer languages. The development of this program can often be seen in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

Essentially, linguistics is at the roots of NLP. The field of study has been around for more than 50 years and its impacts can be seen in its appliances in the real world. Today, NLP is widely used in medical research, search engine optimization, and business intelligence development.

NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence in which a computer analyzes, understands, and interprets human language in a smart way. By using NLP, the developer can organize and structure the knowledge to do several tasks, such as automatic summarization, translation, speech recognition, and many more.

Using NLP can help users structure and organize texts faster. The organizing process of NLP is done by considering the grammar of the language itself. NLP treats every word, phrase, and sentence carefully to deliver the idea properly.

The Importance of NLP in SEO

Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is an invention that makes it possible for machines to understand and process languages as humans do. Not only limited to the use of words, but NLP also has the ability to deliver the meaning of the sentence itself.

With the existence of NLP, a website that stores a lot of unstructured data can process every piece of information efficiently. The process of analysis and SEO can also be done practically since the NLP algorithm is developed by considering the method of machine learning in-depth.

NLP Techniques

There are two techniques that can be used in applying NLP. In order to get the most natural-sounding sentence that is grammatically correct, this program implements the syntax technique that includes:

  • Parsing: the analysis of grammar
  • Word segmentation: derive meanings from words
  • Sentence breaking: put barriers in a big text
  • Morphological segmentation: divide words into morphemes
  • Stemming: divide words into their root forms

Aside from the syntax technique, NLP also uses a semantic technique that includes:

  • Word Sense Disambiguation: derive meanings of words according to their contexts
  • Named Entity Recognition: determine words that can be put into groups
  • Natural Language Generation: determine the semantics behind the words and create new text

The Functions of NLP

Today, using NLP can help users process data in the form of text on a website. The use of NLP in real life can be found in its appliances in media, such as:

  • Analysis of customer reviews based on social media surveys.
  • Automatic translation on Google Translate, Bing Translator, and other translation tools.
  • Research and academic analysis based on metadata and text.
  • Word processor to detect plagiarism and proofread.
  • Talent recruitment for human resources.

The Benefits of NLP

NLP is a program that generally benefits users when it comes to text processing in this digital era. One of the main benefits of NLP is to improve communication between humans and computers. With this program, the interaction with the machine can be more intuitive than before.

The benefit of NLP is not only limited to the quality of communication between humans and machines. Other types of benefits that you can get by using NLP are:

  • Make a summary from a complex text automatically
  • Understand and translate human speech through AI technology
  • Perform sentiment analysis easily
  • Provide insights from analytics that were previously unavailable due to data volume 
  • Improve the accuracy and efficiency of documentation

How NLP Works

Natural Language Processing makes it possible for computers to learn human languages by compiling the data taken from their real lives. Whether it be spoken or written, the AI technology used today can process it and have the computer understand it naturally.

There are two stages in NLP that you need to know, which are:

Data Preprocessing

At this stage, the preparation and cleaning of the text are necessary to be done so the machine can understand it and analyze it accurately. There are several ways to do data preprocessing, which are:

  • Remove general words so text only consists of unique words that can provide more information that can be analyzed efficiently
  • Reduce words to their root forms
  • Mark words based on their part of speech
  • Divide texts into smaller parts

Algorithm Development

Once data goes through the preprocessing stage, it will go to the next process, which is algorithm development. There are two kinds of NLP algorithms that are generally used, which are:

  • Rules-based system: a system made with the principle of the linguistic technique
  • Machine learning-based system: an algorithm that uses the statistic method
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