What is NLP and Why Your Business Needs it

27th NOV 2018 | Disponible en Español

Bot VS Human

What is NLP?

When referring to technology, NLP stands for Natural Language Processing, and it exists as the process that allows computers to understand the meaning of input text instead of just identifying the task at hand. This process allows conversations between humans and bots to be more natural, less scripted and better comprehended by the chatbot.

How does NLP work?

Instead of restricting the bot to generic answers, you can train your bot using NLP to learn through interaction and develop appropriate responses to input text no matter the scripting of the query. To train the bot you must insert various examples of content it might come across to regulate in its system the way it should comprehend and respond to common inputs. It is especially important to train the chatbot on how to respond to profanity and other inappropriate inputs to avoid the mishap of the chatbot learning to use curse words or unprofessional behavior, which we have learned from in the case of Tay the Twitter bot.

Another important way NLP helps your chatbot, as discussed by Casey Phillips in Natural Language Processing (NLP) & Why Chatbots Need it, is by "identify spelling and grammatical errors and allow the chatbot to interpret your intended message despite the mistakes". Being able to pick up on things like this allows your chatbot to interact with your customers better by decreasing the amount of times your chatbot is stumped due to informal human communication styles.

Do I need NLP for my Chatbot?

Although NLP is more geared towards chatbots that deal with a lot of input text, even chatbots with more buttons or carousels can benefit from the implementation of this process during instances in which write in requests are received. Natural language processing simply enhances the experience your customers have with your chatbot by giving your bot more of a personality, instead of a robotic tone.

A perfect example of the importance of NLP in a chatbot is brought up by Phillips in his article, and that is the chatbot Alexa from Amazon. Her popularity and success stem from her ability to understand almost anything a user says to it. Imagine if Alexa’s response was usually “Sorry. I didn’t get that.” Would anyone use her? Absolutely not. This is the same case for the users of any chatbot, especially the bots handling a lot of text interaction.

NLP overall improves the user’s bot experience and increases its use which maximizes the investment in your implemented chatbot.

To figure out how to implement NLP into your chatbot, schedule a call with our experts at Hubtype today.
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