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¿Cómo un ordenador entiende el lenguaje humano?

Irene

3 March 2022

Reading time: 3 minutes

El procesamiento del lenguaje natural (PLN) es una de las áreas de la inteligencia artificial que tiene como objetivo tratar las interacciones entre los lenguajes humanos y los dispositivos informáticos; o, dicho de otra manera, es un área de la inteligencia artificial que tiene como objetivo dotar a las máquinas de la capacidad de entender los mensajes transmitidos mediante lenguaje humano.

Podemos pensar que esta tecnología que está en auge y revoluciona el mundo digital es nueva, pero no. En realidad, tenemos que retomarnos al siglo XX, dónde un matemático llamado Alan Turing (1912-1954) ya desarrollaba ideas y proyectos para que las máquinas pensasen y realizasen tareas por sí mismas. Alan Turing es considerado el padre de la inteligencia artificial, publicando en 1950 un artículo llamado “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. En este artículo, el famoso matemático y criptógrafo (ayudó notablemente en el transcurso de la II guerra mundial descifrando la máquina nazi Enigma), desarrolló la idea de la inteligencia artificial y propuso el test de Turing, que es capaz de discernir una máquina de un ser humano. El desarrollo exponencial del PLN se debe a la mayor disponibilidad de datos, a la mejora de los algoritmos y al aumento de la capacidad computacional.

El procesamiento de lenguaje natural junto con otra de las áreas de la inteligencia artificial como es el reconocimiento del habla ha permitido, entre otras cosas, la existencia de lo que se conoce como los asistentes personales o chatbot, que permiten dar respuestas a preguntas formuladas mediante lenguaje natural en tiempo real, y, muchas veces, respuestas ajustadas a las preferencias de los usuarios. También da lugar al análisis de sentimiento, que tiene como objetivo clasificar documentos o microtextos (artículos, críticas, tuits, etc.) en función de la connotación positiva, negativa o neutra.

Se trata de una tecnología en alza con unas predicciones de aumento de su tamaño en el mercado mundial de los 10.200 millones de dólares en 2019 a 26.000 dólares en 2024. Sin duda, este crecimiento imparable se debe al gran valor que ofrece a las empresas.

Estos son los usos comerciales del PLN más interesantes del momento:

  • Comercio electrónico: muy útil en este sector, el sistema de PLN analiza la intención de las consultas de los usuarios para mejorar la relevancia de la búsqueda y proporcionar respuestas etiquetadas, además de crear textos más personalizados.
  • Análisis de sentimiento: también llamado minería de opinión, ayuda a los directivos a establecer una mejor relación con los clientes. Mediante el análisis del contexto del PLN, se puede identificar la opinión, el estado de ánimo o la intención subyacente del cliente. Gracias a ello, las organizaciones comprenden mejor la opinión pública y cuentan con una visión más valiosa de las estrategias de negocio.
  •  Análisis inteligente de documentos: el PLN se puede combinar con el aprendizaje automático para revisar documentos de texto en lenguaje natural generados por el ser humano. Sus aplicaciones son numerosas: elaborar automáticamente resúmenes, buscar términos concretos o llamar la atención sobre posibles errores, por ejemplo, en textos legales.
  • Proceso de contratación: esta tecnología es capaz de escanear y filtrar currículos para obtener un proceso de contratación más eficiente. Por ejemplo, cuando el sistema escanea los currículos, extrae solo la información relevante. De esta manera, los directores de selección dispondrán de una lista de candidatos más reducida y acorde a sus intereses.
  • Publicidad dirigida: el PLN se emplea también en la creación de publicidad dirigida, pues ofrece a las compañías la oportunidad de llegar a un público mucho más amplio. Después de analizar los términos de búsqueda, el comportamiento de navegación, los correos electrónicos y las redes sociales, las empresas saben mejor donde colocar la publicidad y focalizarla inteligentemente.

Estas son solamente algunas de las aplicaciones del PLN. Como hemos visto, sus principales ventajas se relacionan con la eficacia de muchos procesos de negocio y la disminución en los costes relativos a la atención al cliente. Además, las primeras empresas en implementarlo ya han observado mejoras en su imagen como marca, pues los clientes agradecen una comunicación más rápida y fluida.

Entonces, ¿cómo podemos aplicar el PLN en nuestra empresa?

El PLN se erige como uno de los campos más apasionantes de la inteligencia artificial y una herramienta esencial para muchos directivos y organizaciones. No siempre se reconoce su amplia gama de usos, pues la corriente principal se centra casi exclusivamente en los chats de IA. Pero el PLN tiene la capacidad de revolucionar muchas industrias gracias a sus constantes avances. Cualquier líder empresarial serio deberá plantearse implementarlo en su organización para, así, obtener un valor diferencial.

Si queremos saber dónde podemos integrar el modelo de PLN en nuestra empresa, recomiendo crear un listado de posibles ideas tras responder a las siguientes preguntas:

  • ¿Qué chatbot ayudaría a mis clientes?
  • ¿Qué chatbot ayudaría a mis trabajadores?
  • ¿Cómo podría utilizar el PLN para analizar y leer documentos?
  • ¿Cómo podría utilizar el PLN para hacer análisis de sentimiento?
  • ¿En qué otras áreas podrían aplicar el PLN?

Irene

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