We all speak, read and write, and we are doing it all using language. But it doesn’t stop there. We think about the world in terms of words, we make plans in terms of words, we dream in terms of words and we make decisions using words.
In fact, when you are talking about natural language searches applications, they can spend all these different fields including world understanding and a human’s perception.
In 1950’s science-fiction, a person sitting at a giant computer, types in a question. The computer clicks and flashes and spits out a card or a stream of paper that contains the answer. That is a true natural language search. You ask a question, you get an answer. But that’s not how natural language searches work today.
The original natural language search engines took the words in your search, eliminated noise words and then they weighted the remaining words in your search by how common they were in the database. Less common words were given more weight. Then the system would count the instances of the terms in the documents, and maybe how near the words for each other, and returned a short ordered list of documents that were determined to be the most relevant because they contain the greatest density of search terms, especially uncommon terms.
Some natural language searches have a feature that let you see how your search terms were weighted and how many instances of each term occurred in each document in your search list. You could see why your search results were what they were and where the terms occurred.
Natural language searches are constantly improving. As the technology evolved, especially the Artificial Intelligence system, NLS will get better at delivering an answer for searches.
The big gamers have already started utilizing natural language searches including Google, Amazon and Apple. There’s a new demand for interfaces that allow non-technical people to ask questions about data. It gives them some self-assurance and confidence in what they are able to do. It’s making sophisticated operations simple and intuitive enough for anybody to use.
So, it’s safe to say that natural language searches are the way of the future.