In the past few years, automatic speech recognition (ASR) has become common practice, with billions of voice-enabled products and services. A wide variety of ASR technologies exists, each suited for different use cases. Undeniably though, the holy grail of ASR is natural language processing (NLP), which lets users speak freely, as if they were talking to another person. A simple example is that you can say “Set a reminder for 9AM the day after tomorrow” to any of the leading virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri or Cortana, and they would understand the intent. There is no specific order or magic word that you have to say. You could also say “remind me on Wednesday at 9 in the morning” or “set a reminder on May 16th at 9 AM” and get the same result. The bottom line in NLP is extracting the meaning, regardless of the phrasing.
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