NLP vs. NLU- Understanding the Distinction

Think of human communication. When we hear or read  something our brain first processes that information and then we understand it. Based on our understanding, we respond. We don’t understand everything that  is told to us. That is because we can’t process all information – we can only process information that is within our familiar realm.

The machine learning process is similar to that for humans: First, a program must be able to interpret information, then create knowledge from it. Natural Language Processing (NLP) refers specifically the ability for machines to gather and make sense of language; Natural Language Understanding (NLU) relates more closely with understanding human speech or text from the processed information.