Core Interaction Spring 2018

What is natural language processing?

Natural language processing (NLP) can be defined as the automatic (or semi-automatic) processing of human language.

Natural Language Processing, Ann Copestake, University of Cambridge

All machines operate in binary (Claude Shannon, Mathematical History of Knowledge), new conversational interfaces operate on a semantic level and structure unstructured language.


Break into groups of 3 students. One person will be the operator, another the user and the third will document and record everything that happens (use Voice Memos on your phone).

The user will need to describe what they want, without looking at the screen.The operator will then execute using normal ui and is not allowed to ask questions.

Note the difference between structured and unstructured commands.

Group Exercise:

Build a conversational interface for using the joint spreadsheet. Note the cadence between computer talk machine talk and URL routing.

Further reading