Browse Definitions:
Definition

natural language understanding (NLU)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Natural language understanding (NLU) is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses computer software to understand input made in the form of sentences in text or speech format.

NLU directly enables human-computer interaction (HCI). NLU understanding of natural human languages enables computers to understand commands without the formalized syntax of computer languages and for computers to communicate back to humans in their own languages.

The field of NLU is an important and challenging subset of natural language processing (NLP). While both understand human language, NLU is tasked with communicating with untrained individuals and understanding their intent, meaning that NLU goes beyond understanding words and interprets meaning. NLU is even programmed with the ability to understand meaning in spite of common human errors like mispronunciations or transposed letters or words.

NLU uses algorithms to reduce human speech into a structured ontology. AI fishes out such things as intent, timing, locations and sentiments. For example, a request for an island camping trip on Vancouver Island on the 18th of august might break down something like this: Ferry tickets [intent] / need: camping lot reservation [intent] / Vancouver Island [location] / August 18th [date].

The main drive behind NLU is to create chat and speech enabled bots that can interact effectively with the public without supervision. NLU is a pursuit of many start up and major IT companies. Companies working on NLU include Medium's Lola, Amazon's with Alexis and Lex, Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana.

This was last updated in October 2017

Continue Reading About natural language understanding (NLU)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a technology specification designed to enable nonvolatile memory express message-based commands to...

  • cloud object storage

    Cloud object storage is a format for storing unstructured data in the cloud.

  • parallel file system

    A parallel file system is a software component designed to store data across multiple networked servers and to facilitate ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close