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Short for natural language processing, a branch of artificial intelligence that deals with analyzing, understanding and generating the languages that humans use naturally in order to interface with computers in both written and spoken contexts using natural human languages instead of computer languages.

One of the challenges inherent in natural language processing is teaching computers to understand the way humans learn and use language. Take, for example, the sentence "Baby swallows fly." This simple sentence has multiple meanings, depending on whether the word "swallows" or the word "fly" is used as the verb, which also determines whether "baby" is used as a noun or an adjective. In the course of human communication, the meaning of the sentence depends on both the context in which it was communicated and each person��s understanding of the ambiguity in human languages. This sentence poses problems for software that must first be programmed to understand context and linguistic structures.

NLP is also referred to as computational linguistics.

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