Computing and IT have changed considerably over the years. They have evolved to such an extent that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic concept, but something we use every day. Modern search engines utilize Machine Learning (ML), which is an aspect of AI. We also use HLT (Human Language Technology) when we interact with AI personal assistants like SIRI, Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa, etc.
What is HLT?
Human Language Technology is the study of how computer programs and devices analyze, modify, or respond to human communication, both spoken and written. So when you say, “OK, Google – find me a coffee shop,” and the assistant answers, you are using HLT.
This technology is interdisciplinary, which means it involves different aspects of computing like Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Deep Neural Networks, and Speech Technology. Developers in this field have extensive knowledge of both computer science and human linguistics.
How Much Has HLT Progressed with Machine Learning?
Machine Learning and HLT are two distinct branches of computer science. The former involves a set of protocols and algorithms that perform tasks without explicit instruction. It relies on previous patterns, current knowledge, and inference to execute tasks.
Combining this with AI and linguistics can help machines understand human communication without the need for translating it into code. Machines learn human languages as humans do. They first learn vocabulary, then attempt to form simple phrases before moving onto syntax and connectors that help them understand the context.
Machines follow the same path and develop an understanding of different patterns in linguistics. They apply Machine Learning to understand the rules and logic of a language. This technology has helped HLT progress as far as it has. Today, all HLT-based programs rely on it to understand human speech and text.
Where Is This Technology Headed in the Future?
Human Language Technology is still in its infancy but is developing at a rapid pace. The end goal is to create programs that can understand verbal and text instructions naturally, without the need for specific coding. Some of the best examples of what HLT will look like in the future include J.A.R.V.I.S and F.R.I.D.A.Y programs in the MCU Avengers movies. They can communicate with characters, understand the intention, read the context, and even offer suggestions.
HLT is bound to become a part of our everyday lives a few years down the track. It will significantly change how people interact with machines and the way machines carry out different processes.