Natural Language Generation
Natural Language Generation (NLG) is the process of converting an input knowledge representation into a natural language test, either written or spoken. NLG solutions help companies save time and money, whether they are used for internal management (reports, handbooks, emails ...) or for external communication (blog posts, recommendations, product descriptions ...).
Natural Language Generation has different applications: turning a spreadsheet into a report, generating automatic tweets, creating product cards for an e-commerce .... The complexity of NLG systems is variable. Sometimes, it is enough to convert data into a sentence. At other times, it is necessary to build a complex narrative that includes exposition, climax and resolution. Some goals are achieved with templates that allow information updating. However, other challenges cannot be addressed without the application of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.
At 3.14, we develop Natural Language Solutions tailored to each client's goals. A good NLG system should include the following features:
- Identification of key information: An intelligent NLG system is able to correctly interpret the input. It identifies the most relevant information and turns it into natural language.
- Quality of language: The output must follow the corresponding syntactic, morphological and orthographic rules. That is, it has to reproduce the complexity of human language. To achieve this, processes such as lexicalization, aggregation, segmentation or structuring are necessary.
- Customization: The following factors should be taken into account:
- Type of text: An email must contain a greeting and a farewell, a tweet has a character limitation, news should start with the most relevant information... Each type of text demands a different extension, structure and style. A good NLG solution fits these demands.
- Communicative purpose: The same type of content –for example, an article– can be written in very different ways. Language must adapt to the target audience and the communicative purpose.
- Format: Output, depending on the needs of each project, can be generated in different formats: XML, JSON, HTML, PDF …
Benefits of Natural Language Generation
Among the benefits of Natural Language Generation, it is worth mentioning the following:
- Cost reduction: Making a report or writing an article costs money. Natural Language Generation solutions automate some content creation tasks and, consequently, they reduce cost. In addition, NLG systems allows workers to focus on higher-value tasks.
- Time saving: Automation streamlines process. NLG systems are able to handle large volumes of content at an unattainable speed for a human being.
- Scalability: Natural Language Generation solutions have the capacity to adapt to potential growth.
- Update: This technology allows real-time information updating. For example, if sales figures change, so will the corresponding report.
- Better communication: Natural Language Generation improves communication. Visualization is the most common option for explaining data and, although it is a powerful tool, it is not always the best solution. In fact, our reliance on graphical representation was born out necessity. Not all people correctly understand a histogram and not all ideas are easily summarized in a dashboard. The use of natural language, alone or combined with visualization, improves the understanding of our message by our clients or employees.