What makes a human different from an animal? The language that we humans speak, the unique characteristic that we perceive, and the scientific study of this human language are Linguistics. Linguists study a language from all the aspects, structure, formation, meaning, use, and how a language gets influenced socially, historically, culturally, etc. There are many different branches of linguistics, and the most recently added field is Computational Linguistics.
Computational Linguistics is a mixture of computer science and linguistics. This is to make computers learn the natural human language or model a human language into a cognitive system; this is where Artificial Intelligence or AI comes into being. The language that humans speak is natural, and making a cognitive system understand a human language is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In today’s era of the technological world, AI is a brewing subject. Nowadays, all big and small companies aim to make human-to-machine interaction in natural language via a chatbot, telephony, etc. AI plays a significant role here. To incorporate the natural language in the system, there is a need to include huge or enough data to make these cognitive systems sound more natural and like humans instead of like robots. To not sound like a robot, it should know how a natural language works. For this, few linguistics concepts are necessary, basically Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics.
Syntax studies the structure of a language, while Semantics studies the meanings. Pragmatics studies how a statement’s meaning gets influenced by a particular context. Without these, the bot will not process any specific information grammatically or may not understand what the user is trying to say because of no contextual reference.
Training the chatbots with AI will help make the bot smart enough to answer significant or complex queries. With AI, the chatbot will learn new things every day and learn something from previous interactions to improve quality. This also makes it more efficient in giving responses.
Now, human language is full of ambiguity. So we just cannot incorporate it just like that into cognition. To resolve this ambiguity, we use Natural Language Processing or NLP. NLP has different modules that help in disambiguation like Parts-of-Speech tagging, tokenization, parsing, named entity recognition, etc. NLP uses these modules while generating the natural language, making the machine more robust and economical.
Making a machine as smart as humans will help people get information more easily. Going forward, maybe soon, we might even have a heated argument with a smart device!