Mini-Course: Intro to NLU for technical non-programmers

This is a mini-course which covers the basics of Natural Language Understanding (NLU). There is no code in this mini-course. So it serves as a good introduction for technical non-programmers.

Why learn NLU

By learning about NLU, you will be able to build better Dialogflow chatbots. Not because you can directly use the knowledge in your Dialogflow bot – more because having a background knowledge in NLU can help you get a better mental map of how Dialogflow works.


There is some disagreement on terminology when it comes to calling this NLP (Natural Language Processing) vs NLU (Natural Language Understanding). For example, according to Wikipedia, a task like Part of speech tagging is NLP but not actually NLU.

But regardless of what terminology you wish to use, the lessons in this course explain specific tasks which all deal with turning unstructured text into structured data.

Also, unfortunately, if you search for the word NLP on Google, the vast majority of hits are talking about Neuro-linguistic programming.

1 Google Cloud NL API

2 Text Segmentation

3 Stemming

4 Stopwords

5 Part of speech tagging part 1

6 Part of speech tagging part 2

7 Named Entity Recognition

8 Synsets