23 Jan Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
Understanding is the ability to extract meaning. Natural language means one of thousands of symbol systems used by humans to communicate vocally and verbally. Once a word is in the wild it can’t be withdrawn. But the creation of speech or writing doesn’t guarantee understanding. Understanding is based on an informal agreement between the speaker/writer and the hearer/reader that the symbols in the shared language have specific definitions, and that specific grammatical patterns of phrases and sentences used to express intent and fact enable mutual empathetic collaboration. Even within a single language, different groups divided by age and gender interpret the same words and phrases differently. But as wisdom increases, people become better able to bridge those gaps in understanding. Computers, on the other hand, have never exhibited the ability to understand human intent nor to empathize. Thus, NLU in computers has not yet been achieved at any significant scale. Natural Language Processing or NLP, on the other hand, including basic grammatical analysis and phrase matching is in broad and effective use today January 2020.