January 11, 2024

NLP vs LLM: Main Differences Between Natural Language Processing and Large Language Models

Are you interested in how modern solutions' AI LLMs and NLP components work? Check out our article about the various aspects of these technologies, how they work, and the main similarities and differences between LLM and NLP notions.

Written by
Serhii Uspenskyi

Table of Contents

Modern artificial intelligence solutions use complex algorithms to perform tasks like content generation, data analysis, and comprehension. These components allow intelligent machines to talk to human users in a life-like manner and produce all sorts of text based on existing knowledge. 

AI solutions wouldn’t be able to work without two essential components: natural language processing and large language models. They seem similar, but these parts of the artificial intelligence tech have different applications. Our guide is all about generative AI LLMs and natural language processing, their differences, strong and weak sides, and the best examples of these technologies.

LLM And NLP: What Are They?

Natural language processing is an area of AI that allows intelligent machines to comprehend, analyze, and work with human language. It helps solutions produce accurate summaries, classifications, and translations. NLP can be found in smart helpers, chatbots, machine translators, and other types of software that work with languages.

Large language models are a subdivision of NLP, the job of which is to understand and make human-like text. Programmers train them with large datasets by scraping information from web sources like articles, blogs, scientific papers, and Wikipedia entries. This data helps LLMs predict which words will make the most sense in generated responses.

Key Difference Between LLM and NLP

While these notions are closely connected, there are several differences between them. The main distinctions lie in their focus and scope.

LLMs: Strengths, Weaknesses, And Best Examples

Artificial intelligence is still a developing field, and so are its components. While there are many successful applications of large language models, they possess positive and negative characteristics everybody interested in using them should be aware of.

Strong Sides

  • Constant improvement. AI LLMs self-improve as they are gradually exposed to new parameters and information. This process results in models producing more accurate results with each interaction.
  • Endless applications. LLMs are versatile in translating languages, answering questions, and conducting sentiment analysis. These qualities make them highly adaptable to many environments, such as marketing, customer support, document processing, and database organization.
  • Fast learning. This area of NLP shows excellent results with in-context learning as it requires minimum parameters and resources for training. It’s possible to give an LLM several examples, and it will take things from there.

Weak Sides

  • Bias. LLMs sometimes deliver biased information, depending on the contents of the datasets used for training them. If it favors a particular demographic or shows discrimination towards others, this will be reflected in the output text.
  • Hallucinations. Sometimes, generative AI LLMs produce false content or misinterpret user requests. While they can, for the most part, accurately predict which words to use in a sequence, these models lack a proper understanding of how a human brain works.
  • Security. Without proper privacy measures and security protocols, hackers can access sensitive information to sell or leak it, causing damage to individuals and organizations.

Best Examples Of AI LLMs

Many open- and closed-source large language models help modern artificial intelligence products function. Some of them are more popular than others, but that doesn’t mean they are less capable of performing language-related tasks. 


Google’s PaLM large language model demonstrates a deep understanding of human speech nuances. It comprehends riddles and idioms while offering multi-language translation. Researchers claim that PaLM’s latest second edition addresses bias and harmful content issues to minimize user risks.


Microsoft Research equipped this LLM with a technique called progressive learning to train itself using other models. For example, Orca can study GPT-4 to improve its reasoning capacity. While smaller than OpenAI’s model, Microsoft’s product also shows excellent results in text-related tasks.


This Meta-developed generative AI LLM is available for free research and commercial purposes. Its programmers did their best to ensure the model produced unbiased and safe responses. In addition to providing text output, Llama also serves as a coding assistant.


OpenAI’s model is perhaps one of the world’s most famous LLM. GPT-4 is its latest version, showing a deeper understanding of human input than the original model. The LLM breaks down complex terminology and provides accurate information in various knowledge domains. Users turn to GPT-4 for content generation, summarization, translation, and coding assistance.


While this example of AI LLMs works like GPT, its creators aim to make its content honest, helpful, and harmless. Unlike OpenAI’s solution, Claude doesn’t have direct access to the web and is a closed system. Despite these limitations, Claude helps people with text summarization, coding assistance, creative writing, and answering questions.

Have a question?

NLP: Strengths, Weaknesses, And Best Examples

While the notions of NLP and LLM are slightly different, they share many pros and cons, as both relate to how machines work with human language and text input. When it comes to natural language processing it has several unique advantages and issues that are inherent to the nature of this technology.

Strong Sides

  • Multilingual support. NLP models work with various languages, including Spanish, English, Farsi, Arabic, and Chinese. For example, retailers and educational institutions use them to reach an international audience. Natural language processing lets organizations in these sectors communicate and deliver information without the language barrier.
  • Instant information retrieval. This technology allows institutions and individuals to retrieve information from vast volumes of information. For example, instead of searching a company database, getting information on a particular order or document in seconds is possible.
  • Task automation. NLP excels at handling mundane processes, such as data analysis and decision-making. They can be programmed to summarize documents, categorize and filter emails, and analyze the sentiment of customer feedback.

Weak Sides

  • Data dependency. NLP modes rely entirely on the quality and quantity of information used in the training process. Like LLMs’ they can produce inappropriate results when introduced to biased data.
  • Poor reasoning skills. Natural language processing technology sometimes doesn’t perform well with tasks requiring knowledge beyond available information and common sense. This limitation makes them incapable of human-like judgment.
  • Harder adaptability. NLP products trained to work in one area may perform poorly in others. They often require more training and fine-tuning to adapt to specific tasks and industries.

Best Examples Of NLP


Natural language processing is a significant component of modern chatbots, letting them handle customer requests. This technology answers common questions, provides product and service information, and schedules appointments.

Smart assistants

Products like Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri wouldn’t work without NLP technology. These AI assistants use speech input to search for products, play their favorite songs, and order products without website browsing.

Text summarization

Software tools equipped with NLP create summaries of large volumes of information, saving time and resources. They provide the critical points of a research, a contract, or a scientific article in seconds.

Data categorization

NLP tech organizes unstructured data and text. It looks at keywords, sentiments, and other classifiers to structure information from emails, social media posts, surveys, and other relevant sources.


NLP and LLM are integral components of almost all available artificial intelligence solutions. In time, the advanced versions of these technologies may address their current downsides and let people experience creative freedom and information exploration while introducing new applications for all generative AI products.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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