Natural Language Understanding (NLU) are systems where users can interact with the computer via natural human language
. NLU programs understand the meaning of questions and complete sentences and can interpret and answer them. NLU systems go far
beyondspeech recognition and automatic language recognition systems. They understand the semantic relationships, the meaning and the context of the statement, and can draw inferences from them. In contrast, pure speech recognition systems, such as those used in IVR systems or in voice portals, work with keywords, which they tag and filter out from spoken texts
and compare with stored keywords. Such speech recognition systems work withPart-of-Speech (PoS), a technique with which words are tagged and assigned to a word category, further with Natural Language Processing
(NLP) and intelligent dialogue components that can be linked as word combinations.NLU systems are to be understood as a precursor for artificial intelligence
thatsupport direct human-computer interaction. This allows them to issue non-formalized commands to machines in human language and communicate with computers as if they were humans. Understanding includes sentences not pronounced correctly or spoken in dialect. If instructions
or statements are not understood, then NLU systems can ask dedicated questions. NLU systems are used in voice portals, in chatbots, in virtual agents in telemarketing and in digital voice assistants.