Browse Definitions:

natural language generation (NLG)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Natural language generation (NLG) is an area of artificial intelligence (AI) concerned with enabling software to produce content or speech similar to that produced by humans. Depending on the particular technology, NLG software can access a knowledge base to create content, for example, or transform data and statistics into more user-friendly content.

The speed of natural language-enabled content generation software is especially useful for time-sensitive applications. NLG software can create press releases and articles from organized data points, taking sports scores, for example, and filling in the data with similar language to that of a human sports writer (although much more quickly), or taking data from a corporate income statement and providing the language for a financial report. 

NLG software is also used to automate business reporting. Unlike most humans, the software has the capacity to take large quantities of numerical data and turn that into something that is easy to consume for a non-specialist.

NLG is a counterpart to natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU). In combination, the three can be used to good effect in systems that interact with humans as artificial personalities, like chatbots and AI assistants.

This was last updated in February 2018

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