Natural Language Processing: Natural language processing (NLP) that has to do with the algorithms used by search engines that aim to understand the underlying purpose or intention of a search query rather than simply relying on the keywords to find results.
As a field of study, natural language processing combines computer science, artificial intelligence, and linguistics in order to better understand how computer systems can bridge the gaps between human and computer languages. The concept of NLP dates back to Alan Turing's work and what is now known as the Turing Test, which gauges a machine's ability to replicate the intelligence and behavior of a human. Today, NLP can focus on a variety of different tasks for computers, such as machine translation of foreign languages, named entity recognition, natural language generation and understanding, and even speech recognition.
In search, NLP is used to help users find more relevant content by guessing the intent of the search. Google Instant, which shows search predictions to users, gathers information from previous searches in order to produce better results for subsequent queries.
Individual websites also take advantage of NLP for their online automated assistance (i.e. customer service chats) to help customers find information on a website. These applications are commonly referred to as bots, but they are not the same as the malicious bots that send out spam. An example of an artificial intelligence bot would be Cleverbot, which derives its responses (usually sarcastic ones) from previous human interactions.