How The Rising Popularity Of Natural Language Processing Affects Your Business

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Natural Language Processing or NLP has many use cases in the business environment, some of which we showcase in this article:

Computation costs are continually dropping, and algorithms keep improving by the day. Consequently, businesses from a diverse range of industries began investing in tools that will allow them to look into and analyze public data, i.e. human-generated data such as news, company websites, reports, forums, social media, etc. This unstructured data will provide a greater insight into market trends, competition, and customer behavior.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Natural Language Processing (NLP) seems like a cheat sheet for refining Business Intelligence (BI). In fact, as current predictions indicate the NLP software solutions might reach staggering $22.3 billion by 2025, it is evident that the benefits that come with this technology are understood and already heavily used for optimization of business operations.

What Is Natural Language Processing?

NLP technologies developed as a response to the human need to better communicate with machines. The idea is to teach them natural human language, so they can understand our queries and provide adequate answers. To achieve this, we combine AI, machine learning, and linguistics. As a result, machines are expected to read, understand, and derive meaning from our language without us having to input even one line of code.

NLP Applications In The Business Environment

As previously stated, Natural Language Processing aids in better understanding of your customers, competitors, and events occurring in the market in general. Integrating NLP technologies into your business strategy can improve the company’s operations and position in the industry.

Customer Service

Natural Language Processing is based on machine learning, analysis, and recognition of what a human being would do or say in a specific situation. For this reason, it is utilized in customer service where companies need to extract valuable feedback from interaction with customers. However, with a growing customer base, it is hardly possible to grasp all comments sent your way. Thus, to be able to answer every query and make note of all remarks, companies take advantage of virtual assistants and chatbots that can effectively play the role of customer service representatives.

Natural Language Process has developed to that extent that voice assistants can successfully convert spoken language into textual. This is how Siri, Alexa, Google Now, and others manage to provide answers to vocal queries in a natural language.

According to Djuradj Caranovic, an innovation consultant who has years of experience implementing voice assistants in a variety of industries, the “biggest challenges currently are real-time response, languages and accents and punctuation. As well biggest benefits are improved productivity, naturalness, user friendliness and instant response (precision)”. NLP is also one of the main topics he discusses as a keynote speaker and he emphasizes how slowly, but surely, voice technology will replace digital, as virtual assistants will master the art of accent, nationality, slang, and speech defect recognition. In time, we are bound to see their global acceptance, as all individuals will benefit from their effectiveness.

His team is currently working on a full Alexa integration for an exclusive Vegas hotel, where she is intended to provide state-of-the-art experience for the visitors, answering questions about the hotel amenities, entertainment (in the hotel and its vicinity), and so much more. In the hospitality industry, voice assistants are revolutionizing room service, taking it to a higher level.

In the online environment, we already see successful applications of chatbots in Swedish banking, where Nuance Communications produced AI technologies to properly respond to users’ queries concerning financial transactions, bank account management, currency exchange, etc. Virtual assistants represent the first point of contact, and in case they are unable to provide a satisfactory answer, they are programmed to redirect users to a dedicated call center.

Reputation Management

With consumers voicing their opinions across the web, businesses started investing their resources into monitoring brand mentions. Natural Language Processing automates sentimental analysis, which boils down to:

  • Determining text polarity (negative, neutral, positive)
  • Recognizing mood and emotion (happiness, sadness, calmness, anger, etc.)

By splitting larger chunks of text into clauses, the program assesses both polarity and mood to deliver results that will rate a brand, product, or a service based on users’ comments. These comments are later to be used to remodel the existing strategy and create a detailed plan for business growth.

Business Ecosystem Analysis

To establish dominance in the market, it is crucial for a business to analyze its competition, as the knowledge it gathers will facilitate better strategy development. But due to a continually increasing number of competitors, it is impossible for a human being to keep up with the flood of data.

Implementation of NLP solutions helps investigate and record events happening within a certain company (changes in employment, deals, product/service offering, etc.), allowing you to tweak your strategy to respond the market change.

Big Data Management

Processing large volumes of data is gradually becoming impossible without the implementation of NLP technologies that will make it more user-friendly. For instance, a specific piece of information will become more easily accessible, as instead of digging through piles and GBs of documents, you will simply ask a question.

Virtual assistance also enables you to receive info on the go – by processing a command in the cloud, users can expect to get the results they need on their PC, laptop, or any mobile device they used to send a query.

Streamlined Hiring Process

NLP has already proved beneficial for large companies that receive a multitude of CVs for every open job position. Namely, instead of wasting time scanning each individual document to discover whether or not the desired skills are listed, an NLP software does the job for you.

One such tool is Scout Talent which utilizes NLP technology to pinpoint the best candidates. Unlike some of its predecessors that searched for exact matches only, this software uses keywords an HR professional provides and establishes a list of synonyms to look for.

What The Future Has In Store

Currently, voice assistants are able to simulate only familiar behavior. In other words, if they are presented with a query that contains concepts they have never heard before, voice assistants will fail to provide a satisfactory answer.

At this moment, the focus is put on proliferating existing AI technologies and making voice assistants more human, all in an attempt to improve communication and help them better perform more complex tasks. We’ve come a long way since we had to provide exact match phrases to obtain the info we need, but we still have a long road ahead of us.



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