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Natural Language

Digital Extended Reality refers to AI-powered digital technologies (hardware and software) that are capable of sensing and processing voice, gestures, languages, movements, emotions, and other elements of human communication for various applications.

At the same time, these technologies can be used to profile, model, predict, discriminate, and influence the users’ behaviour or nudge their choices. Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows computer systems to analyse and generate text in natural human languages. Current NLP based on artificial intelligence can perform these actions close to human level proficiency.

Affective computing

Affective computing allows systems to recognise, interpret, process, and simulate human feelings and emotions. Through subtle psychological strategies in dialogue it can be used to influence what a person thinks or believes without the user noticing, for example by prioritising different themes, framing a debate, or directing the conversation in a particular way.


Chatbots use NLP techniques to interact with users in natural language orally or in writing. Usually, chatbots are integrated into a computer system such as a smartphone or an internet of things (IoT) device. Currently, the developers of conversational agents are striving to create personalised systems (e.g., “virtual friends”) that engage with a user in an emotional way and are capable of learning while interacting with a user.

Applications of NLP


NLP can assist teachers to support student’s learning. Since not all students understand and learn in the same way, teaching can be personalised to help them learn in the best way.

Benefits: Unlimited possibility to repeat instructions.

Ethical challenge: Collection, storage and use of sensitive information.

People Replicas

Digital replicas can imitate the speech and language of deceased or living persons. These can be famous authors or philosophers, but also deceased family and friends.

Benefits: Alleviating grief and offering the illusion of presence.

Ethical challenge: Damage to people’s reputation or dignity.


Translation from one language to another can happen without human involvement, even in simultaneous and natural conversations.

Benefits: Facilitating communication between a large number of people.

Ethical challenge: Threat to the livelihood of professional translators.


NLP is used to make diagnoses, recommend treatments, and conduct follow-up interviews. Virtual doctors and nurses help monitor the patients.

Benefits: Talking to an NLP device without feeling judged.

Ethical challenge: Difficult diagnoses disclosed without support & collection of sensitive information.

Social Media

Virtual influencers are increasingly present on social networks. They behave like human users, sharing messages and attracting new followers.

Benefits: Messages against racism, sexism and violence.

Ethical challenge: Risk of manipulating users and misinformation.


Employers use NLP to analyse CVs and make decisions about hiring. In the workplace NLP is used to assign tasks, monitor progress and remind staff of rules and norms.

Benefits: Easy to share information and optimise workload.

Ethical challenge: Opportunities allocated according to bias.

Legal Advice

Lawyers use NLP applications to process client data and conduct legal interviews. Text analysis can be used to handle laws, regulations and factual data.

Benefits: Overcoming faults like error or subjective views.

Ethical challenge: Consequences of wrong predictions.


NLP can be used to create media content. Applications can produce text on their own or generate samples for a human to select.

Benefits: Content available on every subject and place.

Ethical challenge: Readers exposed primarily to opinions that resonate with their own.

Artistic Works

NLP can be used to generate creative or poetic text, usually by relying on existing creative work. Applications can imitate the style of some classic authors.

Benefits: Users produce creative outputs with little or no effort.

Ethical challenge: A threat to human works and creativity, challenge of intellectual property.