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Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing

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(Angel Island State Park, San Francisco/Bay Area, U.S.A. - Jeffrey M. Wang)


Computational Linguistics

[ACL]: Computational linguistics is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of various kinds of linguistic phenomena. These models may be "knowledge-based" ("hand-crafted") or "data-driven" ("statistical" or "empirical"). Work in computational linguistics is in some cases motivated from a scientific perspective in that one is trying to provide a computational explanation for a particular linguistic or psycholinguistic phenomenon; and in other cases the motivation may be more purely technological in that one wants to provide a working component of a speech or natural language system. Indeed, the work of computational linguists is incorporated into many working systems today, including speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors, language instruction materials, to name just a few.


Natural Language Processing


  • Natural language processing (NLP) is concerned with the practical issues of using computer systems to process human language. Statistical NLP consists of applying machine learning and statistical techniques to produce inferences providing the ability to reason and make decisions over text much like humans do. 
  • Natural language processing systems understand written and spoken language; possibilities include automatic translation of text from one language to another, or understanding text on Wikipedia to produce knowledge about the world. Machine listening systems understand audio signals, with applications like listening for crashes at traffic lights, or transcribing polyphonic music automatically. 


Virtual Agent


[]: A Virtual Agent is an computer generated, animated, artificial intelligence virtual character (usually with anthropomorphic appearance) that serves as an online customer service representative. It leads a intelligent conversation with users, responds to their questions and performs adequate non-verbal behavior.



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