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What is the role of AI in Natural language processing ?

For example Siri. Is Ai used to make siri get better at understanding the users voice ?

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closed as too broad by D.W., David Richerby, Juho, András Salamon, frafl Jan 9 '14 at 21:52

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

As a died-in-the-wool skeptic of AI, what used to be areas for "computer intelligence" ("automatic programming", "theorem solving", et al) got theories, techniques, and tools; and thus became "hard core CSc", called names like "compilers", "deduction". No AI in sight. –  vonbrand Feb 19 '13 at 5:07
i have know idea on what you are talking about :S what do you mean by -- "called names like "compilers", "deduction"" –  user1951876 Feb 19 '13 at 8:23
In the earliest times, translating pseudocode into machine code was considered as requiring human intelligence, today we take compilers for granted. As technology advances, what requires "intelligence" gets reduced to algorithms. –  vonbrand Feb 19 '13 at 12:27

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I think the source of your confusion is the fuzziness of the definition of AI.

AI can be the subfield of computer science that deals with problems where computers need to become more intelligent in some way. These subfields include NLP, Machine Learning, Knowledge Representation, Automated Reasoning, speech recognition, speech synthesis etc. By this definition Siri certainly uses AI, since it recognizes your speech, translates the spoken phrase from human language to a query on a knowledge database, and then translates the answer back to human language, and then to human speech. The first and last two of these steps are considered NLP (speech recognition, natural language parsing, natural language generation, speech synthesis).

Another definition of AI (strong AI) is the philosophical problem of whether computers can ever mimic/portray all the intelligence of human beings, and whether that raises them to the same level of humans. For all Siri's achievements, I don't think anyone would call Siri an example of strong AI.

Finally the example you give of Siri getting better at recognizing your voice is called Machine Learning. This is the field of study of programs that adapt to users or their surroundings. I don't think Siri uses machine learning as you use it, but the whole system may well contain machine learning parts that were trained before the system was rolled out.

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NLP is the branch of computer science focused on developing automated systems that allow computers to communicate with people using natural language like English, German,...language. It is part of AI. Many techniques from machine learning, statistical processing,... from AI are used in NLP.

In AI, NLP is also called AI-complete or AI-hard. It is equivalent to solving the central artificial intelligence problem—have computers as intelligent as human.

You can find more information in Wikipedia page

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i have read the wikipedia page before but i am having trouble understanding what role AI actually plays. For example if i ask siri "whats the time?", siri gives tells me the time. So is Ai involved in this process ? Or is Ai used to make some changes in Siri to make it understand my accent/voice. Lets say i speak english with a french accent. So overtime Siris response gets better. –  user1951876 Feb 19 '13 at 8:21

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